More than 80 children in the southern Indian state of Kerala have been infected with a rare viral disease called the tomato flu. Authorities said all these children are below five years of age and the number is expected to increase. Kollam, Neduvathur, Anchal, and Aryankavu are the areas with the most numbers of cases. In order to curb the spread of the virus, a medical team is carrying out tests for fever, rashes, and other illnesses at Walayar on the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border, PTI reported. 

Dr P Aruna, the deputy director of health services, Coimbatore, told the Indian Express that the district has deployed three teams to carry out tests in the border. 

“Three teams comprising revenue inspectors, health inspectors and police have been deployed on a shift basis. They will note down if someone has fever and rashes. This flu is a self-limiting one and there is no specific drug for this. If someone is infected with this flu, they need to be kept in isolation as this could spread rapidly from one person to another,” Aruna told the outlet. 

What is tomato flu?

Tomato flu, also known as tomato fever, causes rashes and tomato-shaped blisters on the infected child’s body. A debate persists if tomato flu is a viral fever or an aftereffect of chikungunya or dengue fever. 

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What are the symptoms of tomato flu?

The main symptoms include rashes, blisters, red spots on hands and legs, skin irritation, and dehydration. Some patients can also experience a high fever, body ache, cough, tiredness, cramps in the stomach, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, sneezing, and runny nose.

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How to deal with it?

1) Keep yourself hydrated by drinking boiled water

2) Maintain distance from the infected person

3) Maintaining hygiene

4) Don’t touch or scratch the blisters