Another new virus dubbed the tomato flu, or tomato fever, has emerged in the Indian state of Kerala.
So far 82 children under the age of five have been diagnosed with tomato fever since May
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Experts feared the virus may be a new variant of hand, foot, and mouth disease but are also investiagting whether it is the after-effect of a mosquito-borne infection. They also say they are not ruling out an entirely new pathogen.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in most cases, the virus has symptoms like fever, painful sores in the mouth and a blistery rash.
The virus got its name because of the eruption of red and painful blisters throughout the body that gradually enlarge to the size of a tomato. These blisters resemble those seen with the monkeypox virus in young people, the Lancet reports
Could this be more cover for the vax damage or is there another vaccine in the pipeline for this self limiting illness?
The Mail Online reorts: Most patients also suffer high fever and intense joint pain, but fatigue, sickness and diarrhoea have also been reported.
Doctors say it is ‘very contagious’ and they fear it could spill into adult populations if the current outbreak is not brought under control.
It comes as the world still reels from the Covid pandemic — and amid a global outbreak of monkeypox.
Writing in scientific journal The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, medics said: ‘Children are at increased risk of exposure to tomato flu as viral infections are common in this age group and spread is likely to be through close contact.
‘Young children are also prone to this infection through use of nappies, touching unclean surfaces, as well as putting things directly into the mouth.
‘Given the similarities to hand, foot, and mouth disease, if the outbreak of tomato flu in children is not controlled and prevented, transmission might lead to serious consequences by spreading in adults as well.’
The main symptoms observed in children with tomato flu are similar to those of chikungunya – a viral disease similar to dengue that is transmitted by mosquitoes and is endemic in parts of India.
The 82 children diagnosed with tomato fever were initially tested negative for dengue, chikungunya, zika virus, varicella-zoster virus, and herpes – but came back negative.
On top of the blisters, patients suffer fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, dehydration, swollen joints and body aches.
There is currently no test or treatment for the virus.
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