Tomato flu outbreak detected in three Indian states

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Tomato flu outbreak detected in three Indian states
Tomato flu outbreak detected in three Indian states
24 August, 17:28In the worldPhoto: Herald Sun
The nature of the disease, which may be both a new virus and a manifestation of chikungunya and dengue fever, endemic to India, has not yet been studied.

A new viral infection - the so-called tomato flu, or tomato fever - has spread to three Indian states, reports The Guardian. A recent article in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine reported that as of July 26, 82 children in Kerala had been diagnosed with the virus. Now, the disease has also been found in neighboring Tamil Nadu, as well as in the eastern state of Odisha. In the latter, children under the age of nine fell ill, although the virus usually affects children no older than five years.

The nature of the highly contagious virus, which is dangerous for children with a weakened immune system, has not yet been sufficiently studied. The name is explained by the fact that when infected, painful red blisters form on the body. Infection occurs through close contact: through diapers and touching dirty surfaces. “A rare viral infection is endemic and considered not life-threatening; however, due to the terrible experience of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is advisable to be vigilant to prevent further outbreaks”, - the Lancet article reported.

The authors of the publication believe that tomato flu may not actually be a viral infection, but a consequence of chikungunya or dengue fever: all three have similar symptoms. Outbreaks of chikungunya and mosquito-borne dengue usually occur in India during the rainy season.

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