UP Gov Issues Advisory for Tomato Flu

UP Gov Issues Advisory for Tomato Flu: Urging people of the state to stay aware about the symptoms of tomato fever or flu, the Uttar Pradesh government issued a standard operating protocol-cum-advisory to district health machinery late on Friday night.

To note, tomato flu is a rare viral infection. The first case of tomato flu in India was reported on May 6 and since then more than a 100 cases of tomato fever also known as Hand Foot and Mouth Disease have been reported in different states of India including Tamil Nadu, Odisha and Haryana.

Taking a note of the matter, the union health ministry issued an advisory on tomato flu on Tuesday. Forwarding a copy on the same, the UP-health department also asked chief medical officers of different districts to coordinate with all possible stake holders for prevention of the condition.

The advisory states that the name Tomato Flu comes from the main symptom of this disease, which are ‘tomato-shaped blisters’ on several body parts. “The blisters start as red-coloured small blisters and resemble tomatoes when they enlarge,” it said.

Referring to the primary symptoms observed in children with Tomato Flu, the advisory stated: “the symptoms are like those of other viral infections, which include fever, rashes and pain in joints. Rashes on skin can also lead to skin irritation. But some specific symptoms include mild fever, loss of appetite, malaise and often a sore throat.”

The advisory also said that small red spots appear which change to blisters and then to ulcers in about one or two days after the onset of the fever. “The sores are usually located on the tongue, gums, inside of the cheeks, palms and soles,” it said.

So far, the condition has been seen in school going children usually under 10 years of age. "Infants and young children are also prone to this infection through use of nappies, touching unclean surfaces as well as putting things directly into the mouth. HFMD occurs mainly in children under 10 years of age, but it can occur in adults too,” the union health ministry advisory said.

Experts however urged parents not to worry much as tomato flu was a self-limiting infectious disease and its signs and symptoms resolve after a few days.

Talking about prevention, they said: “the best way to prevent this disease is by maintaining proper hygiene and sanitisation of the surrounding environment as well as preventing the infected child from sharing toys, clothes, food, or other items with other non-infected children.” 

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