Tomato Flu Infection, Symptoms And Treatment

Tomato fever also called tomato flu is found in few states of India in children below 5 years of age. Health officials have warned that the virus can infect anybody and preventive methods must follow to avoid getting sick.

Person who is infected with this virus will have red rashes similar to color of tomato, hence the name tomato flu. Eating tomato does not cause this disease! It is a rare form of infections that is noticed in children. It is non-life threatening disease.

The disease said to be caused by a variant of hand, foot and mouth virus (HFMD). Hand foot and mouth viral infection is common in younger children because of their weak immune system. According to CDC Hand, foot, and mouth disease, is a very contagious disease caused by the coxsackievirus that spreads easily through an infected person’s nose and throat secretions, poop, and fluid from blisters and scabs that can form from the virus. Thus, tomato flu virus spreads similarly in humans. So far it is noticed in Southern states of India, in particular Kerala and Odisha states.

Symptoms of ‘Tomato fever’:

  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Skin irritation and dehydration.
  • Discoloration of legs and hands
  • Blisters, rashes in the body
  • Body ache
  • Nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, abdominal cramps
  • Pain in joints
  • High fever
  • Runny nose, sneezing, coughing and could be wheezing.

Tomato fever symptoms are similar to dengue, chikungunya. It is contagious and precautions to be taken to avoid contact with infected person.

How the virus spreads?

Three common ways the disease transmits are:

  • Direct contact
  • By fecal and oral route
  • From saliva or through mucus (nasal mucus)
  • Secretion from blisters can be infectious too.

How to prevent tomato fever?

  • Stay hydrated, drink boiled, warm water
  • Do not scratch blisters (avoid touching them)
  • Keep distance and avoid contact from person who is infected
  • Maintain personal hygiene
  • Keep surrounding clean
  • Use warm water for bathing or take sponge bath.
  • Avoid touching the utensils and tools of the infected person.
  • Increase fluid intake.

Tomato flu treatment:

Diagnosis and treatment of the patients depends on age, signs and symptoms, severity of rashes and sores. Doctor will do swab test or collect stool specimen for further investigation. Early detection will help to prevent spreading of the disease.

According to experts, tomato fever is self limiting, means proper care at home should help. There is no specific drug or medicine to control. A well-balanced diet with plenty of rest will help the fever to subside and the person will start recovering. Warm water bath helps, and person feels better.


Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: August 31, 2022

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