Kerala, which was still reeling from the shock of death and hospitalisation of 58 people due to food poisoning, has been dealt another blow. Reportedly, more than 80 children are affected by the disease called Tomato Flu.

As per local health media reports, all the cases to have emerged so far, are from the district Kollam, wherein Aryankavu, Anchal and Neduvathur are particularly affected. However, most of the kids are said to have recovered from the illness now.

Human Skin
Human Skin (Representational Picture)Piqsels

What is Tomato Flu?

Considered to be one of the rare but serious viral disease, Tomato flu causes red coloured rashes or blisters on the skin. Hence, the name Tomato Flu. It is also characterised by skin irritation and dehydration. Other symptoms include high grade fever, body aches, vomiting, fatigue and swelling of the joints. The viral fever has affected children even below the age of five in Kerala.

Efforts to contain the spread

Representational imageReuters

Surveillance measures and methods of screening have been amped up on the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border to help contain the spread of the disease. A medical team in one of the districts neighbouring Kerala is carrying out tests to screen those entering Coimbatore, for any fever, rashes and other relates symptoms, reported the PTI.

Passengers and particularly children of all vehicles are being checked by medical officers. Meanwhile, the Anganwadis in the state had also been formed to check children below the age of five and no new cases have been reported so far.

What can you do?

Parents should immediately consult a paediatrician to rule out any other disease and for correct diagnosis. Like with battling most viral infections, cleanliness, hygiene and hydration are of paramount importance. Close contact with those infected is not advised to prevent spread of the infection. Infected children should avoid scratching, touching the rashes or blisters.

No need to panic: Health Minister

OPDs and health institutions have been directed to monitor children for any signs and symptoms of Tomato Flu, while Mangaluru, Udupi, Kodagu, Mysuru and Chamarajanagar have been directed to screen daily travellers from Kerala. Meanwhile, Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said that there was no need to panic, especially for those confusing the symptoms with Covid-19. "Moreover, The Tomato Flu is endemic to Kerala," he added.