Kerala, which is in shock over the death and hospitalisation of 58 people due to food poisoning, is now grappling with another mysterious disease – the “tomato flu”.
More than 80 children are affected by the disease, also called as “tomato fever”, according to local media reports. All the cases have been reported from Kollam.
What is tomato flu?
This is a rare viral disease, which causes red-coloured rashes, skin irritation and dehydration. The disease gets its name from the blisters it causes, which look like tomatoes.
The tomato fever is affecting children below the age of five in Kerala.
Symptoms of the disease
The affected child can get blisters the size of tomatoes, which are red in colour. Other symptoms include high fever, body ache, joint swelling and fatigue – much like chikungunya.
Cases have also been reported from Aryankavu, Anchal and Neduvathur in the southern state.
Surveillance on Tamil Nadu-Kerala border
As a step against spread of tomato flu in one of the districts in neighbouring Kerala, a medical team is carrying out tests to those entering Coimbatore for fever, rashes and other illness – symptoms of such flu – at Walayar on the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border, news agency PTI reported.
Two medical officers are leading the team to check passengers, particularly children, of all vehicles, the report further said.
A 24-member team has also been formed to check the children aged below five, in anganwadis.