How To Cure Tomato Flu

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How To Cure Tomato Flu
Treatment of Tomato Flu – As per the Lancet report, tomato flu is a self-limiting disease and no specific drug exists to treat it. Since the symptoms of tomato fever are similar to those of dengue or chikungunya, the treatment technique is also similar.

  1. The treatment of tomato flu includes isolation, rest, plenty of fluids, and a hot water sponge for the relief of irritation and rashes.
  2. In addition to that, supportive therapy of paracetamol for fever and body ache and other symptomatic treatments are required.
  3. Book an appointment today for Tomato Flu Treatment in Bangalore.

As of today, no antiviral drugs or vaccines are available for the treatment or prevention of tomato flu. Further research and investigations are needed to better understand the need for potential treatments.

How do you overcome the tomato flu?

Diagnosis and Treatment of Tomato Flu – If anyone presents with the symptoms mentioned above, the doctor would recommend several serological and molecular tests to diagnose dengue, Zika virus, chikungunya, herpes, or varicella-zoster virus. Once all of these viral infections turn out to be negative, the possibility of the infection being tomato flu increases.

  • Since tomato flu is a self-limiting disease, its symptoms resolve within a few days.
  • As of yet, no antiviral vaccine or drug is available to prevent or treat tomato flu.
  • It is recommended to stay in isolation and take plenty of fluids and rest.
  • To relieve skin irritation and rashes, a hot water sponge is highly advisable.

Moreover, symptomatic treatment could be required in the form of antipyretics for relieving body aches and fever, topical calamine lotion for blisters, topical mouth gels for oral ulcers, and anti-allergic medications for itching.

How long does tomato flu last?

By Artika Bansal New Delhi: In the last few months, India has witnessed a surge in tomato flu or tomato fever cases across states. What started with a few cases identified in the Kollam district of Kerala, has now crossed a hundred cases in the country.

  • Lancet Respiratory Medicine published a report titled ‘Tomato flu outbreak in India’ on August 17, which drew attention to the condition.
  • It stated that the non-life-threatening, rare viral infection is in an endemic state, however vigilant management is desirable to prevent further outbreaks.
  • The viral flu gets its name from tomato-like red blisters that spread all over the body of an infected person.

It generally targets children between one and five years of age and even adults with weaker immunity. Although highly contagious, so far no fatalities related to tomato flu have been reported. While the doctors and scientists are still investigating the paediatric illness, noticing the increase of cases in India, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) recently issued an advisory to states on tracking, tracing and treatment of the flu.

Surge in flu cases While the community is trying to live with COVID-19 infections and the subtle existence of monkeypox infections, the new tomato flu virus has created another panic, especially for children. Tomato flu is a viral illness that starts with rashes, blisters or ulcers in the mouth. India’s southern states have reported over a hundred cases so far, and all the children are below five years of age.

Doctors suggest that for the past two years, everyone lived in closed indoor spaces away from infections. Now with the ease in restrictions and normalcy in life, people are getting sensitive to new endemics. Similar is the case for tomato flu. With the reopening of schools, exposure to the outside environment and infections has increased for children.

  • Dr Fazal Nabi, Consultant, Paediatrics, Global Hospital, Parel, Mumbai shared, “The infectious agents can remain in a kid’s body for several weeks after the infection subsides.
  • This makes them favourable carriers.” Touching unclean surfaces and putting things directly into the mouth, also makes children more prone to the flu.

Similarities between tomato flu and other infections With the change in weather and the increase in flu and other viral infections, similar signs and symptoms are being noticed amongst the infected. The primary symptoms observed in children with tomato flu are suspected to be similar to those of chikungunya or dengue, and the blisters as similar to those of chickenpox or even monkeypox.

  • To check for dengue or chikungunya, tests are done and when these viral infections are ruled out, contraction of the tomato virus is suspected.
  • As for chickenpox, the blisters do not happen under the palm and feet which differentiates it from tomato flu.
  • Commenting on the difference between tomato flu, a variant of HFMD, and monkeypox, Dr Trupti Gilada, Infectious Disease Specialist, Masina Hospital, Mumbai shared, “Most importantly, monkeypox is uncommon in children whereas HFMD affects children under the age of seven mostly.

The rashes in HFMD are mainly over palms, soles and oral cavities. These rashes can spread over the buttocks and thighs also, but it is not very common to have a rash all over the body. They are almost always mild and resolve without any treatment. However, in the case of monkeypox, rashes spread from head to toe sequentially.

Involvement of the face, genital area, palms and soles are characteristic. The rashes begin in one to three days of fever and can last for up to two to four weeks.” The Centre issued advisory also clearly addressed that tomato flu is not at all related to SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), monkeypox, dengue, and/or chikungunya.

Symptoms and treatment Tomato flu is a self-limiting infectious disease and the signs and symptoms resolve after a few days. When reported, initially the symptoms include mild fever, loss of appetite, malaise and occasionally a sore throat. After the fever, small red spots appear which change to blisters and then to ulcers.

Some cases also report vomiting, nausea, fatigue, diarrhoea and dehydration. It is advised for parents to consult a doctor if the child is symptomatic. Since the infection can spread quickly, the affected person must remain in isolation until confirmed. As of now, there is no specific drug or vaccine available for tomato flu.

It is recommended to stay in isolation, take rest, have plenty of fluids, and a hot water sponge for relief in irritation and rashes. Other than this, Dr Ashok Gawdi, Consultant, Paediatrics, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai shared that supportive treatment is given in the form of topical calamine lotion for blisters, paracetamol for pain, anti-allergic for itching and topical mouth gels for oral ulcers.

  • Precautions and prevention Although tomato flu is a non-life threatening disease, it is important to closely monitor the cases and take appropriate action to prevent the situation from spiralling out of control.
  • Speaking to ETHealthworld, Dr Aditya Chowti, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine, Fortis Hospital, Cunningham Road, Bangalore, firstly advised people not to panic and asked parents to see the doctor at the earliest with the onset of symptoms.

He further added, “Tomato flu is largely preventable so sanitisation is important to be taken care of. Also, the kids infected shall not touch surfaces unnecessarily and avoid close contact with the other healthy children.” Listing out preventive measures, it is advised for infected children to limit contact even via sharing toys, clothes, food, or other items with other non-infected children.

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Published On Sep 4, 2022 at 02:25 PM IST

How do you treat tomato flu in adults?

What is the treatment for tomato fever? – The treatment for tomato flu is to stay hydrated, take lots of rest and sleep. It is important not to let the blisters burst. It is advised people wait for the symptoms to subside on their own, which can take about ten days to resolve.

How long does it take for tomato fever to go away?

While reopening of schools has brought back some normalcy in the lives of kids, an overwhelming attack of allergies, flu, typhoid, dengue infections are taking a big physical and mental toll on them. Tomato flu ( hand foot and mouth disease ) is one infection that is giving parents sleepless nights.

Said to be highly contagious, it’s spreading among children, especially school going children. We spoke to pediatricians from three different cities to understand the flu, its signs and symptoms and treatment course. Early symptoms of tomato fever Like any other fever, tomato fever also presents with fever and slight myalgia (muscle pain) but there is no eye congestion or nasal discharge.

“Drooling of the saliva from the mouth due to ulcers in the mouth is very common and rashes are seen on the buttocks, palms of hands, and soles of feet. One might think that it is chicken pox initially but the rash seen in the mouth, palm, and sole of the foot is diagnostic of tomato fever,” shares Dr.C.

Jayakumar, Clinical Professor and Head, General Paediatrics, Amrita Hospital, Kochi. The diagnosis is mostly easy as the rash is typically seen in the mouth, buttocks, palm of the hand, and sole of the foot. Sometimes it is seen in the region of the knee cap as well. Diagnosis is easy for most doctors as there is also a seasonal prevalence.

But the initial symptoms are non-specific and may resemble any viral infection. Dr Vaidehi Dande, Child Specialist and Neonatologist at Symbiosis Hospital, Mumbai explains, “High-grade fever, intense body ache and joint pains are common in tomato fever and usually precedes the appearance of rash.

There is no characteristic symptom or sign which differentiates tomato flu from other forms of flu. For doctors, there is no specific clinical or laboratory test which can be ordered to confirm the diagnosis. So only after the appearance of rash can one be sure about the diagnosis. Having a high ‘index of suspicion’ helps.” So is tomato flu just another name for hand foot and mouth disease? Dr Vaidehi explains, “The rash in HFMD looks different from that in tomato flu.

In HFMD it is pin point size, fluid filled and appears around the mouth, elbows, knees and buttocks.In tomato flu, rash becomes big and fluid filled and might appear like a tomato. Hence the name ‘tomato flu’. Severity of fever and other symptoms is much less in HFMD as compared to tomato fever.” Dr Parvinder Singh Narang, Director and Head of department of Pediatric, Max Super Specialty Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, Delhi adds, “Hand foot mouth disease (HFMD) occurs every year but in the last years all kinds of infections were less in children because of lock down.

  • Symptoms of the so-called Tomato fever can be confusing the parents or doctors because they haven’t seen cases of HFMD in the last 2 years.
  • One thing is definitely happening that the number of cases of HFMD is higher this year because during the lockdown schools and nursery play groups were closed for more than two years.

HFMD generally occurs once in a lifetime but this year, there is a more susceptible population, hence more cases.” How to stop its spread Tomato flu and hand foot and mouth disease are highly contagious in children. “They should avoid contact with those who have tomato fever.

  1. Children should not share cups or plates with other children at school.
  2. Also kissing should be avoided.
  3. For most adults, it is not infectious, but it is advised not to use utensils used by the infected child.
  4. Hand washing and basic hygiene may help in prevention,” explains Dr Jayakumar.
  5. Precaution Any child who has fever should be isolated at home till fever resolution, if there is a rash, isolation should be continued till all the rashes dry up and there are no new rashes appearing.

This might take up to 5–7 days. Children should be repeatedly told about proper hygiene. Infected child should not be allowed to share toys, clothes, food, or other items with other non-infected children. Cleanliness of surroundings and regular sanitation should be ensured, adds Dr Dande. Tomato flu is named after the red-colored blisters visible on the body. Treatment Most of the children affected with tomato fever need treatment only to ease the symptoms of tomato fever. For mouth ulcers, cream or gel that contains lignocaine and acetylsalicylic acid can be applied before taking food for easing the pain.

  1. For children who have trouble taking food due to painful sores in the mouth, cold foods such as ice creams can be given after the application of the mouth gel.
  2. Ice creams will be a welcome treat for kids and they may help to avoid the need for intravenous fluids for nutritional requirements.
  3. For fever, acetaminophen (paracetamol)in a Dose of 15 mg/ kilogram body weight four hourly can be administered.

Fexofenadine can be used in children to relieve the symptoms of itching. There is no need for any antibiotics or antivirals in the management of hand foot mouth disease /tomato fever. How to prevent monsoon illnesses Dr. Prakash, Head Paediatric Department, Prashanth Hospital, Kolathur, Chennai, “The diseases which are common during rainy season are the respiratory infections like common cold, water borne diseases like typhoid, hepatitis A and disease which are spread by mosquitoes, which breeds in water like the dreadful dengue.

  1. To avoid and prevent common flu, avoid playing in water, going to crowded places, taking cold items (ice creams/ carbonated drinks) and using face mask in bigger kids.
  2. To prevent water borne diseases like typhoid, children must have good hand hygiene, they should be taught to wash hands with soap and water before food, drinking boiled water and avoiding partially cooked fast food items.

And finally to prevent dengue, which is caused by mosquitos which bites during the day, care must be taken not to allow any stagnation of water, water tanks and well to be covered. This prevention is applicable to schools’ water storage systems more importantly, since the major time spent during the day by these kids is at school.

How do I know if I have tomato flu?

What are the symptoms of tomato flu? – The main signs and symptoms of tomato flu in children are

Increased body temperature RashesSevere joint pain, which is also characteristic of chikungunya. The red, painful blisters may spread to different parts of the body. These blisters mimic those that young people who have the monkeypox virus experience. Along with tomato flu, skin rashes that irritate the skin also develop. Additional signs and symptoms of dengue are similar to those of other viral illnesses, such as fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, dehydration, swelling of the joints and body aches.

Can Tomato fever be cured?

Tomato Flu is self-limiting. There are no specific drugs for it. It is suggested that children who have got infected from Tomato Flue should take rest, consume plenty of fluids and take hot water sponge. Those having rashes should remain in isolation for five-seven days.

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Why does tomato flu happen?

‘Tomato Flu’ is named after its main symptom where tomato-shaped blisters appear on several body parts. It is caused by Coxsackie A 16 virus. – Agencies Recently, ‘ Tomato Flu ‘ has been reported in some parts of Kerala among children under the age of five. After the reports of these cases surfaced, the neighboring state, Tamil Nadu, also increased surveillance at its borders. Total ‘ Tomato flu’ cases in India mount to 100.

What causes ‘Tomato Flu’? This rare contagious disease, Tomato fever, is caused by Coxsackie A 16 virus. In this infection, red and painful blisters come up on the patient’s body, which gradually expand into the size of a tomato, and that’s why, it has been named ‘tomato flu’. Symptoms The primary symptoms of ‘Tomato Flu’ in children are similar to those of chikungunya.

These symptoms include rashes, intense joint pain, high fever, fatigue, vomiting, nausea, dehydration, body aches and diarrhoea. Common influenza-like symptoms are also observed in children identical to those exhibited in dengue.

What foods should you avoid if you have tomato fever?

Here are a few tips to tackle this infection – Tips for infected children:

Children with tomato flu should bathe in cold water. Apply a skin lotion after a bath to soothe irritated skin. Avoid scratching the skin as the infection can spread. Drink enough water to stay hydrated. Boiled water is recommended. Cleanliness and hygiene should be maintained around children. Keep a distance from the infected person. Avoid spicy and salty foods. Take enough rest throughout the day. Follow the medication prescribed by the doctor to bring the fever down.

You need to be very careful. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Why is it called tomato flu?

‘It has been called tomato virus because the symptoms include small grapelike blisters that can actually grow as big as a tomato and are red like a tomato.

What are the consequences of tomato flu?

A new virus that’s been dubbed tomato flu, or tomato fever, is spreading in India and causing several symptoms that are similar to COVID-19, including fever, fatigue, and body aches. The virus got its name from one telltale symptom that isn’t seen with COVID — painful bright red blisters that spread all over the body and can gradually grow to the size of a tomato.

While the virus is rare, at least 100 cases have been reported in India since the first case was identified in the state of Kerala on May 6, according to a report in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine on August 17, So far there have been no fatalities attributed to tomato flu, according to the Lancet report.

Scientists and public health officials are still investigating the recent spate of cases, including 82 cases reported in children under 5 years old in local hospitals in the state of Kerala, as well as an additional 26 cases in youth 1 to 9 years old in the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu.

  1. Scientists are still investigating the cause of this catchily named pediatric illness, which shares characteristics with several more common childhood diseases, per the report.
  2. Tomato flu could be an after-effect of chikungunya or dengue fever in children rather than a viral infection,” wrote Vivek Chavda, of the L.M.

College of Pharmacy in Gujarat, India, and colleagues in the Lancet, “The virus could also be a new variant of the viral hand, foot, and mouth disease, a common infectious disease targeting mostly children aged 1 to 5 years and immunocompromised adults.” The cases in India are being identified after eliminating other potential causes of illness.

  1. That’s because, as with many other viral infections, including influenza, children infected with tomato fever may experience fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, dehydration, swelling of joints, body aches, the Lancet report notes.
  2. All these symptoms can be present with dengue, a mosquito-borne illness that is most dangerous to infants and pregnant women.

Similarly, many tomato flu symptoms, including high fever, rashes, and intense joint pain, resemble what can happen with chikungunya, another viral infection spread by mosquitoes. Right now, tomato flu cases in India are being identified only after diagnostic tests rule out dengue and chikungunya as well as the Zika virus, varicella zoster virus, and herpes, according to the Lancet report.

  • Treatment is similar to what’s done for young children with chikungunya and dengue — lots of fluids, rest, and hot water sponge baths to relieve irritation from rashes, according to the Lancet,
  • Children may also be given fever-reducing medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen,
  • Tomato flu is highly contagious, and a five- to seven-day isolation period is recommended.

Other precautions to prevent the spread of the virus include hand-washing and not sharing clothes, food, or toys with infected individuals. The virus may be spread by contact with soiled diapers or unclean surfaces as well, or when children put items exposed to the virus in their mouth, the Lancet notes.

Is tomato flu contagious to adults?

Updated On Aug 29, 2022 05:49 PM IST

Tomato flu or tomato fever can spread from one person to another through contact with an infected person. “It spreads from person to person just like a common cold, through contact with the patient’s secretions including stool, for example during a diaper change in child care facilities,” said Dr Rajeev Jayadevan.

/ View Photos in a new improved layout Updated on Aug 29, 2022 05:49 PM IST

Does tomato fever spread to adults?

04 /7 ​Symptoms of tomato fever – Tomato fever is highly contagious and can spread faster among kids and even with immunocompromised adults. The common symptoms of tomato fever seen in kids are: High fever Rashes Pain in joints Red and painful blisters which enlarge to the size of a tomato Skin irritation Other symptoms are: Fatigue Nausea Vomiting Diarrhoea Fever Dehydration Swelling of joints Body ache readmore

What is the fastest way to cure tomato fever?

What Is the Treatment for Tomato Fever? – There is no particular treatment required for tomato fever. The symptoms usually subside in seven to ten days. The doctor may prescribe:

  1. Drugs like Aspirin or Paracetamol bring down fever, body pain, and general discomfort.
  2. Avoiding spicy and salty food helps in preventing mouth soreness. Warm saline gargles may also help with the blisters inside the mouth.
  3. The doctor may suggest the affected individuals increase their fluid intake so that the body stays hydrated. In addition, the drinking water needs to be boiled before use.
  4. Also, one should be careful not to scratch or rub on the blisters and burst them. Instead, allow the blisters to subside on their own.
  5. Bathe the child in warm water to relieve the skin irritation. Applying a skin-soothing lotion may help too.
  6. Put the child to rest as long as the symptoms last so that the effects of fever do not turn bothersome and the blisters heal properly without getting further infected.

How do you treat tomato fever naturally?

Tomato Fever: Avoid Home Remedy – Know the symptoms of tomato fever and consult your doctor immediately as soon as you see it. The symtoms are red blisters on the skin, irritation in the skin, joint pain, runny nose, high fever, stomach pain, vomiting, cough, body pain, sneezing, diarrhea and fatigue.

  1. Don’t try home remedies.
  2. If tomato flu occurs, the child will have to drink more water.
  3. If you can drink water, many problems will be solved.
  4. Apart from this, the rash-out area should also be gently cleaned.
  5. Be careful if there is a wound on the body again.
  6. But don’t scratch that rash with your nails in any way.

Then the risk of infection can increase manifold. So there’s no choice but to be careful. : Tomato Fever: Don’t make these ‘MISTAKES’, otherwise it can cost your child dearly

Can tomato allergy be cured?

Tomato Allergy Frequently Asked Questions – What Causes Tomato Allergy? Tomato allergy is caused by the immune system’s overreaction to the profilin proteins in tomatoes. Can Tomato Allergy Be Hereditary? Yes, tomato allergy can be hereditary, but not always.

  • If you have a family history of food allergies, you may be at a higher risk of developing a tomato allergy and other food allergies.
  • Are There Other Foods That People With Tomato Allergy Should Avoid? People with tomato allergy may also be allergic to other foods in the same family, such as potatoes, eggplant, and bell peppers.
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You may need to avoid these foods if you have a tomato allergy. Can Tomato Allergy Be Cured? Currently, there is no cure for food allergies, including tomato allergy. However, some people may outgrow their allergies over time. Can I Eat Cooked Tomatoes If I Have A Tomato Allergy? Some people with tomato allergy can eat cooked tomatoes because the heat can change the structure of the proteins, making them less allergenic.

How does tomato fever look like?

Tomato Fever Symptoms – The chief signs of Tomato Fever in children include red blisters, rashes, skin irritation, and dehydration. Additionally, individuals may have fatigue, a change in the colour of their hands and legs, joint discomfort, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and coughing, among other symptoms.

How is the tomato virus transmitted?

Plant viruses are extremely minute infectious particles consisting of a protein coat and a core of nucleic acid. They have no means of self-dispersal, but rely on various vectors (including humans) to transmit them from infected to healthy plants. Once viruses penetrate into the plant cells they take over the cells’ nucleic acid and protein synthesis systems and ‘hijack’ them to produce more virus.

Viruses are frequently transmitted through propagated material but, depending on the virus, can also be transmitted via insect or mite vectors, pollen, mechanical transfer via contaminated hands and tools, or nematode vectors in the soil. Some viruses can be transmitted via seed, but generally these are a minority and therefore seed propagation is often a useful way to ensure virus free plant material.

Vectors

CMV is vectored by aphids TSWV is vectored by thrips, especially the western flower thrips TMV is very easily spread mechanically on tools and fingers PepMV is mechanically transmitted, although seed transmission is possible TMV is occasionally transmitted via seed

Several of these viruses can infect other garden plants. CMV has a very wide range of hosts, not only among cucurbits. TMV also affects tobacco and potato. TSWV affects many plants in the tomato family (Solanaceae) and also gloxinias ( Sinningia ), arum lilies and dahlias.

PepMV was first detected in Europe in 1999. Although it is controlled by plant health regulations gardeners do not need to report suspected outbreaks, but should not save seed from affected plants for re-use. See the Defra Plant Health Portal for more information on symptoms. A number of other non-indigenous viruses and viroids are a threat to tomato production in the UK.

Details can be found in this Defra factsheet,

What foods should you avoid if you have Tomato fever?

Here are a few tips to tackle this infection – Tips for infected children:

Children with tomato flu should bathe in cold water. Apply a skin lotion after a bath to soothe irritated skin. Avoid scratching the skin as the infection can spread. Drink enough water to stay hydrated. Boiled water is recommended. Cleanliness and hygiene should be maintained around children. Keep a distance from the infected person. Avoid spicy and salty foods. Take enough rest throughout the day. Follow the medication prescribed by the doctor to bring the fever down.

You need to be very careful. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

What causes tomato flu in adults?

‘Tomato Flu’ is named after its main symptom where tomato-shaped blisters appear on several body parts. It is caused by Coxsackie A 16 virus. – Agencies Recently, ‘ Tomato Flu ‘ has been reported in some parts of Kerala among children under the age of five. After the reports of these cases surfaced, the neighboring state, Tamil Nadu, also increased surveillance at its borders. Total ‘ Tomato flu’ cases in India mount to 100.

  1. What causes ‘Tomato Flu’? This rare contagious disease, Tomato fever, is caused by Coxsackie A 16 virus.
  2. In this infection, red and painful blisters come up on the patient’s body, which gradually expand into the size of a tomato, and that’s why, it has been named ‘tomato flu’.
  3. Symptoms The primary symptoms of ‘Tomato Flu’ in children are similar to those of chikungunya.

These symptoms include rashes, intense joint pain, high fever, fatigue, vomiting, nausea, dehydration, body aches and diarrhoea. Common influenza-like symptoms are also observed in children identical to those exhibited in dengue.

Does Tomato fever spread to adults?

04 /7 ​Symptoms of tomato fever – Tomato fever is highly contagious and can spread faster among kids and even with immunocompromised adults. The common symptoms of tomato fever seen in kids are: High fever Rashes Pain in joints Red and painful blisters which enlarge to the size of a tomato Skin irritation Other symptoms are: Fatigue Nausea Vomiting Diarrhoea Fever Dehydration Swelling of joints Body ache readmore

Does tomato flu cause virus?

2.6. Clinical features – Throughout earlier outbreaks of HFMD around the world, different clinical features have been observed in accordance with the virulence of the virus responsible for the outbreak, The primary symptoms observed in the recent outbreak of ‘Tomato flu’ in India – namely, fever, anorexia (loss of appetite), nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, swollen joints and body pain – are similar to that of other viral infections.

High grade fever is accompanied by rashes and severe joint pain comparable to those in chikungunya and dengue fever. One to two days after the onset of fever, small red spots appear on the body which eventually turn into blisters and then to ulcers ( Fig.4 ). Although they may appear throughout the body, the lesions are usually located on the tongue, inside of the cheeks, gums, palms and soles ( Fig.5 ).

The emergence of rash does not follow either centripetal or centrifugal pattern of dissemination in the body. These blisters are red, painful and may grow to the size of a tomato. It is plausible that the large blisters are due to infection with a new variant of CV-A16. Macules, papules and vesicles around the mouth of a child due to HFMD (image credit: Daily Mail UK). Maculopapular rash on the palm of HFMD patient (image credit: reddit. com/user/sleekpaprika69). Additional signs and symptoms of ‘Tomato flu’ include flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, rhinorrhea (runny nose) and discoloration of the hands, knees and buttocks.

Molecular and serological tests are done on children with such signs and symptoms in order to rule out dengue, chikungunya, zika virus, varicella-zoster virus and herpes, following which the diagnosis of ‘Tomato flu’ can be confirmed. In areas of outbreaks, the disease may be diagnosed clinically by history and physical examination as well,

‘Tomato flu’ caused by the CV-A16 virus is self-limiting and non-life threatening. There have not yet been any deaths reported due to the disease. Complicated and fatal cases of HFMD are predominantly caused by E71 infection. Although infections with CV-A16 are generally thought to be mild, there is potential for development of complications.

It primarily affects children and immunocompromised adults. Previously, CV-A16 reportedly caused fatal cases of HFMD in mainland China, France, Japan, Taiwan and the United States. In 2010, 92 cases of HFMD with neurological dysfunction were reported in Shenyang, China,19 of the reported cases were caused by infection with CV-A16, 2 of which presented with brainstem encephalitis and one with acute flaccid paralysis.

Additionally, coinfection with CV-A16 and EV-A71 can cause serious central nervous system complications, leading to severe and prolonged disease states. Therefore, it is plausible that ‘Tomato flu’ may cause complications and fatalities, especially in immunocompromised children.