Tomato Flu

With the AIIMS, Bhubaneswar claiming that 4 to 5 patients with Tomato-flu-like symptoms are coming to it on a daily basis, an alarm bell has been set ringing. 

The additional Superintendent of AIIMS, Prabhas Tripathy said they are receiving 4 to 5 patients with the symptoms akin to Tomato flu every day. “We are receiving such patients since last two weeks. However, they are being discharged after treatment at OPD,” Tripathy said.

He urged the parents to keep symptomatic children in isolation. 

"Till now, this 'Tomato Flu' as a separate entity has not been reported from Odisha and we have also not seen a single case at AIIMS, Bhubaneswar," said the AIIMS authorities. 

Apart from the city AIIMS, the Capital Hospital has also been receiving 5 to 8 children with the symptoms of Tomato Flu since the last 15 days. 

“We are receiving 5 to 8 children having symptoms of Tomato Flu for the last 15 days. Though their conditions are not serious, they complain of having reddish lesions inside mouth, skin rashes, lack of appetite, cough and pain in throat while gulping down food. They are recovering after two to four days of medication. We are even sending samples of suspect cases to RMRC here for laboratory testing. We expect to get the reports in five to seven days,” said Director, Capital Hospital, Dr Laxmidhar Sahu. 

“The situation is under control now. Since all the symptoms of Tomato Flu are not showing up, there is no reason to panic,” Sahu added.

The patients come out in red coloured skin blisters over limbs, other body parts including the mouth and throat. The disease is called ‘Tomato Flu’ because the reddish fluid filled blisters look like tomatoes. 

The disease is rarely life threatening but like any other diseases, it causes fever, body ache, joint pain, headache, pain in throat with decrease in food intake. 

It is said that Tomato Flu may be nothing but a well known viral infection known as ‘Hand Foot and Mouth Disease’ (HFMD) having similar symptoms to Tomato Flu. 

In case of HFMD, skin blisters which may or may not be red in colour appear on skin. While the disease is highly contagious, it affects mostly younger children. A spurt in the number of such patients is witnessed when there is an increase in humidity with fluctuations in temperature.