This Common Childhood Illness May Actually Be Behind the “Tomato Flu” Outbreak in India

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The most likely cause appears to be hand, foot, and mouth disease. However, what is this illness?

Over 100 children under the age of five have been diagnosed with “tomato flu” in the Indian states of Kerala and Odisha, according to experts last week. Although information is still very limited, there is mounting proof that the well-known virus that causes hand, foot, and mouth disease is the source of this unusual outbreak.

Because it results in red blisters that can enlarge to the size of a small tomato, the outbreak in India is also known as “tomato flu” or “tomato fever.” The infection, however, also brings on more widespread flu-like symptoms, such as fever and body aches.

The sickness was first mentioned in the Lancet journal Respiratory Medicine on August 17 as “a novel virus known as tomato flu.”

However, calling this a “new virus” may be deceptive. The odd infection may have been brought on by the same virus that causes hand, foot, and mouth disease, according to a later investigation.

This forecast seems to be accurate. Following the initial report, a case study describing two people who had just returned to the UK from a month-long family vacation in Kerala was published in The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.

The two children tested positive for enterovirus, a genus of viruses that causes a multitude of disorders, and had the recognizable bumpy lesions. Following up on these findings, genetic testing identified the virus as a Coxsackie A virus, the causative agent of hand, foot, and mouth disease.

“According to early reports, tomato flu is actually hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD), which is brought on by Coxsackievirus A16, the virus most frequently connected to HFMD. The disease and virus are widespread around the world, including Australia, and primarily sicken children “Professor Andreas Suhrbier, a biologist at Brisbane, Australia’s QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, stated.

Ali Esen

Istanbul University, Department of Mathematics. Interested in science and technology.

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