An outbreak of tomato flu could be caused by the Coxsackie virus

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An outbreak of tomato flu could be caused by the Coxsackie virus
An outbreak of tomato flu could be caused by the Coxsackie virus
29 August, 09:33Science
What was mistaken for a new disease may actually be the long-known enteroviral vesicular stomatitis, also known as hand-foot-mouth syndrome.

Under the so-called tomato flu, which affected children in three Indian states, enteroviral vesicular stomatitis, a long-known and widespread disease, may be hiding, according to NewScientist.

Despite many reports of a new disease, only one report appeared in the scientific press with the results of analyzes of sick children. They were taken from two children who had returned to the UK from Kerala where they had been playing with a child who had just recovered from tomato flu. A week after returning, the 1-year-old girl and her 5-year-old brother developed a rash of small, fluid-filled blisters.

Researchers at the University of Leicester in the UK found that the children were infected with the Coxsackie A16 virus, which causes enteroviral vesicular stomatitis, known as hand-foot-mouth syndrome. Coxsackieviruses belong to enteroviruses and are in no way related to influenza viruses. The disease they cause has been around for centuries and is usually easily tolerated by children.

Experts believe that there is nothing sensational about the outbreak, it was artificially inflated. It is also possible that some children in India have contracted either dengue fever or chikungunya under the guise of tomato flu. These diseases are carried by mosquitoes and cause rashes, fever, and joint pain. However, they do not cause fluid-filled blisters, the symptom that led to the term "tomato flu."

According to experts, doctors in India could mistake Coxsackie for a new disease, as its manifestations are becoming more diverse. In China, for example, new variants of an enterovirus have emerged that have spread around the world and can cause fluid blisters.

There is no cure for enteroviral vesicular stomatitis, but the vast majority of children recover quickly and without sequelae. Serious complications: encephalitis and acute flaccid paralysis (weakness of the arms or legs) are rare.

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