Following the Lancet health magazine's warning about increased occurrences of tomato fever or tomato flu in India, medical specialists have labelled it a deceptive colloquial moniker for Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD).
Dr Rajeev Jayadevan, co-chairman of the Indian Medical Association's (IMA) National Covid-19 working team, stated, "Tomato fever is a catch-all term for hand, foot, and mouth illness. This is a minor viral infection that mainly affects young children under the age of ten. A Coxsackie virus is generally to blame for this."
The IMA official further said that many people refer to HFMD as tomato fever because of the red blotches it causes on the skin. It didn't take long for folks to recognise the name. However, he emphasised that using such a moniker for a disease that has little to do with tomatoes is not a smart idea. The term "tomato fever" may lead people to assume that illness is caused by tomatoes.
Some Kerala media referred to the prevalent ailment as tomato fever, according to health authorities. Dr Dhiren Gupta, Senior Consultant at Sir Gangaram Hospital, stated that the population is still recuperating from the Covid epidemic and is extremely vulnerable to new endemics. The spread of Tomato flu might generate panic among individuals. That's why he advised researching the disease's facts. "It appears to be a kind of hand, foot, and mouth disease, with added symptoms of joint pain and high fever. In any case, hand foot mouth disease is a sickness caused by many enteroviruses. Symptoms vary depending on the type of virus, the patient's age, and his or her immunological level. It is not generally life-threatening in the general population," he added.
The fever can also develop rashes on the hands, foot, and buttocks, as well as ulcers in the mouth. HFMD is extremely infectious. It spreads quickly by human secretions (particularly the nose and throat), intimate touch, and so on. Anyone who comes into touch with an infected individual is at risk of contracting the virus. "It spreads from person to person exactly like a normal cold," explained Dr Rajeev Jayadevan, "via contact with the patient's secretions, including faeces, such as during a diaper change in child care facilities."
According to the Lancet report, tomato fever spread mostly among youngsters in India. More than 80 instances have been reported thus far. Typically, children under the age of five are infected with the virus. "The uncommon viral illness is endemic and is deemed non-life threatening; nonetheless, given the horrible experience of the Covid19 pandemic, cautious management is important to prevent future breakouts," according to the report.