Tomato Flu – Infectious Disease

Tomato Flu - Infectious Disease

What is Tomato Flu?

It is a rare, highly contagious viral illness. Not many studies on this topic have been done. The virus came into notice when it suddenly boomed into Kerala state, India, affecting 100 children!

What causes Tomato flu?

A virus causes this illness.

Does a virus cause tomato flu?

This is still uncertain what causes this illness since many researchers admit the uncertainty because the symptoms overlap many diseases.

What variant of a virus is the tomato virus?

It is a debatable topic; a few do not consider it a new virus, and a few do.

Is tomato flu infectious?


How does tomato flu spread?

Transmission of tomato flu is via close contact and surfaces, but this surety is still doubtful. Some suggest that it is a contagious illness. A broad spectrum of infectious diseases, similar to covid and monkeypox, can spread rapidly via air travel, infected person’s clothing, bedding, towels, sheets, toys, books, or other nonporous surfaces.

When was the first outbreak of the Tomato flu virus?

In what parts of the world did tomato flu affect more people?

As per statistics, currently, India is much more affected than other parts of the world.

What are the symptoms of a new virus known as tomato flu?

The signs and symptoms of tomato flu resemble viral illnesses like COVID, Chikungunya, hand, foot, and mouth disease, and dengue. The primary symptoms of this virus are high-grade fever, body aches, joint aches, and rashes. The rashes also cause skin irritation that is managed by antihistamines.

Other minor symptoms include fatigue, runny nose, sneezing, abdominal pain and cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, swelling of joints, and common flu-like symptoms.

Do symptoms of tomato flu resemble chikungunya and dengue virus?

The symptoms of tomato flu much likely resemble many viral illnesses. Some researchers consider it a variant of hand, foot, and mouth disease that causes similar blisters. An enterovirus causes hand, foot, and mouth disease, and coxsackievirus is one subtype that has a similar presentation. Some also consider it as after effect of hand, foot, and mouth disease.

Is a painful blister a symptom of tomato flu?

Tomato flu is named after its lesions that resemble tomatoes. The characteristic lesion of tomato flu is red and painful tomato-shaped blisters.

Is tomato flu a childhood disease?

Since many viral diseases are considered childhood diseases, this is not true partly because the weaker immune system of older adults resembles children’s unformed immune system.

Is the tomato flu virus deadly?

It is considered a non-life threatening disease that is self-limiting and resolves on its own!

When was tomato flu first discovered?

This virus was identified in the Kollam district of Kerala, India, on May 6, 2022.

What are the complications of tomato flu?

How to diagnose Tomato flu?

Tomato flu is a diagnosis of exclusion that is suspected after ruling out dengue, chikungunya, hand, foot, and mouth disease, Zika virus, chickenpox, and herpes virus. Does it cause respiratory failure?

This is still unknown and under rigorous investigation. Does tomato flu affect pregnant?

The effect of tomato flu on pregnant ladies is not yet documented. This is under investigation. How can tomato flu be treated and managed?

Until now, there is no definitive management for tomato flu. No vaccine or antiviral is effective against this virus. The recommendation for managing it is to provide supportive care to relieve patients’ discomfort. Acetaminophen is usually advised and proven to reduce and alleviate some discomfort due to fever and pain due to rash.

Rest, hydration, and hot water sponges also aid in irritation caused by rashes. Avoid scratching and rubbing the rashes to avoid secondary bacterial infection.

Special attention is to be given to diet. What are the precautions for the Tomato flu virus?

Tomato flu is a transmissible disease that also requires isolation to avoid infection. The affected patients should be quickly isolated for 5 to 7 days as suspicion arises about tomato flu. The universal measure is hand hygiene, similar to all infectious diseases.

It’s high time we did consider much more vigilant measures to stop the spread of such infectious and contagious illnesses. The world has seen a lot in the last three years in the form of COVID/ Coronavirus.

These viruses are eye-openers for our fragile public health care system.

The Lancet- Respiratory Medicine

About Writer

Asad Arora
Asad Arora
From the pen of Dr Asad Arora's journey around the universe.

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