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Suryakant Jena

Amid concerns over the surge of a fourth wave of Covid pandemic, an outbreak of another viral disease in Kerala has sparked serious concerns for all.

Called, 'tomato flu', the mysterious virus infection has been detected among as many as 80 children, all under five years of age in Kollam, Aryankavu, Anchal and Neduvathur districts.

While the reports of the new viral cases have sent Kerala government on toes, several other south States like Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have sounded high alert and tightened border checking protocols besides putting in other surveillance and containment measures in place in districts adjoining Kerala. 

But what exactly is Tomato Flu?

As per health experts, tomato flu has been found with symptoms like that of Chikungunya, such as high fever, body ache, joint swelling, fatigue. But most importantly, the infection has been found to trigger lot of red coloured rashes and blisters on a child's body - and hence, gets its name ‘tomato flu’. Some other symptoms of the disease cramps in the stomach, vomiting, diarrhoea, discolouration of limbs, coughing and runny nose.

As the disease is viral in nature, health experts have warned that it is contagious and so isolation protocols are a must for infected individuals in order to prevent spread of infection.

Even though the exact causes behind the disease and its severity have not been assessed by the Health authorities, the Centre too has not notified anything regarding the rise in infections.

Diagnosis and preventive measures

Health experts have foremostly suggested cleanliness and hygiene practices, social distancing apart from proper hydration and supportive medical care to the infected individuals only after consultation with a medical practitioner and due health tests.

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