A NEW ‘highly contagious’ disease is spreading among children.
Doctors say his symptoms overlap with many other illnesses, including the flu and Covid.
But the most striking feature are nasty bubbles that grow to the size of a tomato – hence the name.
So far 82 children have been diagnosed, all located in India.
No cases have been reported outside and it is not clear what the risk of spread to other countries is.
All children were younger than five years and had no serious illnesses.
In the medical journal The Lancet, doctors write that tomato flu is “very contagious” and fear it will spread to adults.
The symptoms described were:
- swelling of the joints
- body aches
- rash (blisters)
They describe the rash seen in children: “Tomato flu got its name from outbreaks of red and painful blisters throughout the body that gradually enlarge to the size of a tomato.”
They compared the rash’s blisters to those of monkeypox in children.
The feverish symptoms are similar to those of dengue and chikungunya, both of which are spread by mosquitoes in other parts of the world, including Asia.
In fact, tomato flu could be an “after-effect” of these two viruses, medical professionals reported.
But interestingly, health experts in India believe the infection is a new variant of hand, foot and mouth disease, local media reports, as it shares a striking resemblance.
Hand, foot and mouth disease is common in children around the world, including the UK and US, and can sometimes affect adults.
Initially, it causes symptoms such as a sore throat, fever, and loss of appetite before developing a mouth ulcer and skin rash.
Blisters tend to appear on the hands, feet, and buttocks.
Doctors wrote in The Lancet: “If outbreaks of tomato flu in children are not controlled and prevented, given the similarities to hand, foot and mouth disease, transmission could lead to serious consequences by spreading to adults.”
They added that isolating cases is important to prevent the bug from spreading further than Kerala, the south Indian state where it was first spotted.
https://www.the-sun.com/health/6033699/what-are-symptoms-tomato-flu-children/ What are the symptoms of “highly contagious” tomato flu in children?