Tomato fever! Do not panic, keep these things in mind

Kerala is battling with tomato flu or tomato fever. The new flu has made parents anxious because it is targetting young children. Kerala has so far reported over 80 cases of Tomato Fever, which is also called Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. The mysterious viral flu has symptoms similar to that of Chikungunya.

The flu got its name tomato fever because of the red blisters it causes. Meanwhile, neighbouring Tamil Nadu has ramped up surveillance at its borders in the wake of cases being detected in Kerala. Authorities are on alert in Coimbatore.

A team of officials have been deployed at the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border for screening people coming from the neighbouring state. Karnataka has also stepped up vigil, with health officials maintaining a log of OPD services. However authorities say there is no need to panic.

What is tomato flu?
The tomato flu, which affects children below five years of age, is often called an undiagnosed fever. Rashes, red blisters, skin irritation and dehydration are common in children affected by the flu.

According to several reports, the flu can also cause tiredness, joint pain, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, high fever, and body ache. In some cases, it may also change the colour of the legs and the hands.

The flu is self-limiting and there is no specific drug for it. Doctors say that the symptoms will resolve overtime on their own if supportive care is given.

The tomato fever is called by the name because of the large blisters that appear on affected persons' skin, which are red in colour and resemble tomatoes.

What exactly causes the disease is not known yet, as experts are unsure whether it is a different virus, or just an after-effect of chikungunya.

How to treat tomato fever
Like other flu, tomato fever is also contagious. The infected person needs to be kept in isolation as this could spread rapidly.

It is essential to prevent infected children from scratching the blisters caused by the flu. Proper rest and hygiene is also advised.

Utensils, clothes and other items used by the infected persons must be sanitised to prevent the flu from spreading.

The most crucial aspect is to keep the patient hydrated and be in regular touch with a doctor about change in symptoms, if any.

Source : DNA India