Indian health advisory for rare virus infecting children

Tomato flu — so known as as a result of painful crimson blisters it produces — has thus far been detected in additional than 100 children throughout three states because the first case was reported on May 6.

Hindustan Times | Hindustan Times | Getty Images

The emergence of a rare, new viral an infection afflicting younger children has prompted health authorities in India to situation a health advisory after greater than 100 instances have been found within the nation.

Tomato flu — so known as as a result of painful crimson blisters it produces — has thus far been detected in 82 children aged below 5 within the state of Kerala, the place the primary case was detected on May 6.

An extra 26 instances have since been reported in neighboring Tamil Nadu state and Odisha within the east, the place children as previous as 9 have been contaminated.

India’s health ministry has mentioned that the virus is non-life-threatening however issued testing and prevention tips to all states this week, urging dad and mom to be additional vigilant in checking their children for signs, the Times of India reported.

What is tomato flu?

Tomato flu is a extremely contagious viral an infection, which spreads through shut contact significantly amongst younger children aged below 5.

Symptoms embody fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, dehydration, swelling of joints, physique aches, and customary influenza-like signs, in addition to the eponymous tomato-like blisters.

Scientists are nonetheless attempting to establish the route explanation for the virus. However, they are saying “it is not related to SARS-CoV-2 [Covid-19],” regardless of displaying some comparable signs, in keeping with an article revealed final week in British medical journal The Lancet.

More seemingly is that the virus is an after-effect of chikungunya or dengue fever, two viral ailments transmitted by mosquitos.

Alternatively, it could possibly be a brand new variant of the viral hand, foot, and mouth illness, a standard infectious illness concentrating on principally children aged one to 5 years and immunocompromised adults.

Who are you able to catch it and the way?

Children are at elevated danger of publicity to tomato flu as viral infections are frequent on this age group and unfold is prone to be via shut contact.

They are additionally at significantly excessive danger via their use of nappies, touching unclean surfaces, in addition to placing issues instantly into the mouth.

However, older adults could possibly be put in danger if the outbreak just isn’t managed and transmission restricted.

“Given the similarities to hand, foot, and mouth disease, if the outbreak of tomato flu in children is not controlled and prevented, transmission might lead to serious consequences by spreading in adults as well,” the Lancet article mentioned.

Tomato flu is a self-limiting sickness, that means it tends to resolve spontaneously with out therapy.

However, health officers have urged folks to take precautionary measures to stop the unfold of the outbreak, together with isolating suspected instances for 5 to seven days following the onset of signs.

“The best solution for prevention is the maintenance of proper hygiene and sanitization of the surrounding necessities and environment as well as preventing the infected child from sharing toys, clothes, food, or other items with other non-infected children,” the Lancet article mentioned.

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