Home / Science / Health /  India logs 82 cases of ‘Tomato Fever’ in children below 5 years, Lancet issues alert

The Hand Foot Mouth Disease (HFMD), also known as the Tomato Fever has become a cause of concern for health experts as it rapidly spreads among children. Covid-19 has not loosened its grip on Indian citizen, at a time the dagger called Monkeypox also hangs low, a study punished in the Lancet Respiratory Journal has now warned of the rapidly surging cases of HFMD cases among children in India. 

Doctors have raised alarm of the surging cases of Tomato Fever among children in India. According to Lancet Respiratory Journal, the first case of 'tomato fever' was reported in Kerala's Kollam on 6 May. The current infected case count stands at 82 children below the age of 5 years.

"Just as we are dealing with the probable emergence of fourth wave of Covid-19, a new virus known as tomato flu, or tomato fever, has emerged in India in the state of Kerala in children younger than 5 years," Lancet said in its report.

Causes of Tomato Fever

The infectious disease is caused by intestinal viruses and is rare in adults as they usually have immune systems strong enough to defend them from the virus.

Health experts say that it is a self-limiting illness and no specific drug exists to treat it. Speaking to the journal, they also warned that the infection is "very contagious".

Tomato Fever symptoms

The Hand Foot Mouth Disease got the name Tomato Fever because of the red blisters that appear on a patient's body and gradually enlarge to the size of a tomato.

Some of them also complain of tiredness, joint pain, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, high fever, and body ache. The symptoms further include high fever, body ache and fatigue - much like chikungunya. 

Is Tomato fever contagious

The Tomato fever or Hand Foot Mouth Disease (HFMD) is highly contagious and spreads through contact. So far, no vaccine is available for the virus.

If someone is infected, then it is necessary for them to remain in isolation. Utensils, clothes and other items used by the infected persons must be sanitised to prevent the flu from spreading.

Indian states that have reported Tomato Fever cases

According to Lancet, other affected areas in Kerala are Anchal, Aryankavu, and Neduvathur. It also said that the surfacing of this illness even triggered an alert in the neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

"Additionally, 26 children (aged 1-9 years) have been reported as having the disease in Odisha by the Regional Medical Research Centre in Bhubaneswar. To date, apart from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Odisha, no other regions in India have been affected by the virus," the Lancet report said.


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