The tomato flu with symptoms like the coronavirus

The tomato flu with symptoms like the coronavirus

Scientists warn that it is strong contagious and spreads rapidly

The outbreak of a new viral infection in India seriously worries scientists because of the consequences of COVID-19, the Guardian reported. It is about the so-called tomato flu, which since July 26 has sickened 82 children under the age of 5 in three Indian regions. The disease initially started from the state of Kerala.

The researchers say that this infection is not life-threatening, but it is “highly infectious”. Scientists are still trying to identify exactly what this virus is. It’s called tomato flu because of the painful red blisters it produces on the body. Gradually, they can grow to the size of a tomato.

Children are particularly vulnerable because it spreads easily through close contact, such as through diapers, touching dirty surfaces or putting objects in the mouth.

Doctors note that diagnosing the tomato flu is difficult because its symptoms are very similar to those of the coronavirus, chikungunya (an arbovirus infection) and dengue fever (a tropical infection). The latter two are common in India during the rainy season and are spread by mosquitoes. Chikungunya is particularly prevalent in Kerala.

The main symptoms of tomato flu seen in children include high fever, rashes and joint pain. As with other viral infections, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration may occur. In some cases, the color of the legs and arms may also change. Doctors say the red rashes differ from those of monkeypox, which are deeper and spread differently.

“This disease just looks like a variation of hand-foot-mouth disease, which is very common in children,” explains infectious disease expert Amesh Adalya. Hand, foot and mouth disease is also highly contagious. It is caused by the coxsackie virus, which is easily spread through secretions from the nose and throat of a sick person, through feces and fluid from blisters that may form from the virus.

Given the tomato flu’s similarities to hand-foot-mouth disease, experts warn that if the new infection in children is not controlled and prevented, transmission could lead to serious consequences by spreading to adults.

Currently, there are no antiviral drugs or vaccines available to treat or prevent tomato flu. However, paracetamol can be taken for pain and fever, and plenty of fluids must also be drunk. Isolation is recommended for five to seven days from the onset of symptoms to prevent the infection from spreading to other children or adults. The best means of prevention is to maintain proper hygiene and sanitation, and to limit infected children from sharing toys, clothes, food, or other objects with uninfected people.

India suffered a particularly brutal wave of the coronavirus last summer, which overwhelmed its fragile public health system, Western media reported. Although tomato flu and COVID have similar symptoms, the two diseases have nothing in common, researchers conclude.

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