Tomato Fever: ‘Serious Consequences’ If Virus Spreads

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Experts have warned about additional outbreaks that started in Kerala’s Kollam and have so far infected 82 youngsters after observing an alarming rise in cases of tomato fever or tomato flu in India. A study published in the Lancet Respiratory Journal suggests that the widespread infectious disease that primarily affects children between the ages of one and five and adults with weak immune systems may also be a new form of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD).

According to the study, the uncommon viral infection is endemic, is not considered life-threatening, and has been reported amid worries about a potential fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A new virus known as tomato flu, or tomato fever, has developed in India in the state of Kerala in children under the age of five; at the same time as we are addressing the potential development of the fourth wave of COVID-19. Due to the horrific experience of the COVID-19 pandemic, watchful management is necessary to stop further outbreaks of the rare viral infection, which is in an endemic stage and is not thought to be life-threatening, “the study discovered.

The infectious condition, which is often referred to as “tomato flu,” is primarily found in young children and is brought on by intestinal viruses. Adults rarely contract the sickness because they typically have immune systems capable of protecting them from infection.

Although the tomato flu virus exhibits symptoms comparable to those of COVID-19, such as the first onset of fever, exhaustion, body pains, and skin rashes, the virus is unrelated to SARS-CoV-2, according to the study. The Lancet study stated that tomato fever in children might affect chikungunya or dengue fever rather than being a viral infection.

It also said that the flu is a disease that gets better on its own and that there is no specific treatment for it. Initial incidents in Kerala, The Kollam area of Kerala received the first reports of the tomato flu on May 6, 2022. On July 26, 2022, the local government hospitals reported finding the infection in more than 82 children under five.

Anchal, Aryankavu, and Neduvathur are the other Keralan regions impacted. The Kerala Health Department is taking precautions to track the virus’s progress and stop it from spreading to other areas of India. Odisha 26 children in Odisha have been diagnosed with hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) by the Regional Medical Research Center in Bhubaneswar.

The neighboring states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka were warned to be extra vigilant in the border districts due to this endemic viral infection. However, the virus hasn’t spread to other parts of India except for Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Odisha. 


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), viral infection symptoms typically include fever, painful mouth sores, and a rash with blisters on the hands, feet, and buttocks.

 According to a Lancet study, the principal symptoms seen in children with tomato flu are similar to those of chikungunya and include high fever, rashes, and excruciating joint pain. The condition is known as “tomato fever” because it causes painful, red, tomato-sized blisters all over the body that mirror those seen in young people with the monkeypox virus.

In addition to weariness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, dehydration, swelling of the joints, body aches, and the common flu, which is comparable to dengue, rashes on the patient’s body cause skin irritation. Diagnosis Children with dengue, chikungunya, zika, varicella-zoster, and herpes are diagnosed in children with these symptoms using molecular and serological assays. The report indicates that the presence of tomato viruses is established once these viral diseases have been ruled out.


The symptoms of tomato flu are comparable to those of chikungunya, dengue, and hand, foot, and mouth disease, and the infection is treated similarly. To treat irritation and rashes, patients are advised to isolate themselves, rest, drink plenty of fluids, and use a hot water sponge. “Supportive paracetamol therapy is necessary for treating fever, body aches, and other symptoms,” it declared.

A Threat and Emergence The study found that because viral illnesses are widespread and spread through close contact, children are more likely to be exposed to tomato flu. The virus can spread to infants through diapers, handling dirty objects, and engaging in unsanitary behavior.

The research found that if the outbreak of tomato flu in children is not controlled and stopped, the transmission might result in catastrophic effects by spreading to adults as well, due to similarities to hand, foot, and mouth illness.

The study recommended “careful isolation of confirmed or suspected cases and other precautionary precautions to prevent the outbreak of the tomato flu virus from Kerala to other parts of India,” warning that tomato flu is “highly contagious” and similar to other varieties of influenza. To stop the virus from spreading to other children or adults, isolation should be practised for 5-7 days after the onset of symptoms, ” Study findings The best way to stop it from happening was said to be to keep the area clean and maintain good hygiene, as well as to keep the infected child from sharing toys, clothes, food, or other things with other children who are not infected.

It was said that no antiviral medications or vaccinations are available for the treatment or prevention of tomato flu. More follow-up and monitoring for significant outcomes and sequelae are required to better understand the need for prospective therapies. It read.

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