Kids from Kerala screened for ‘tomato flu’ at Tamil Nadu’s Walayar border

Amidst the spike in ‘tomato flu’ cases in Kerala, public health department officials have begun screening children below 5 years arriving in Tamil Nadu at the Walayar border check post.

A rare viral infection called the ‘Tomato flu’ has been spreading across Kerala. The infection causes children below 5 years to suffer fever, skin irritation and rashes, dehydration and blisters on several parts of the body.

In this situation, two block-level health officials with the revenue department officials and police personnel have been stationed at the Walayar check post. Collector Dr GS Sameeran said, “It is a self-limiting viral flu causing dehydration and blisters.”

“It commonly affects children less than 5 years. Has high infectivity but is self-limiting. Cases have been reported in a few districts of Kerala. We have alerted the HIs (Health Inspectors) posted in Walayar. Also, through anganwadi workers and the RBSK team, we have started to do awareness campaigns in schools and anganwadis,” he said.

Speaking to deputy director of public health services (DDHS) Dr P Aruna said, “Our health department officials will be screening children who come from Kerala for fever and rashes. We have also instructed officials to check adults for fever and also take a COVID-19 test as a precautionary measure. Apart from that, health officials will be screening children in all the anganwadi centres. Currently, there are no Tomato flu cases in Coimbatore.”

What is ‘Tomato flu’?

‘Tomato flu’ is the most common undiagnosed fever in India, people with the disease may experience rashes and skin irritation and dehydration. The condition causes blister resembling tomatoes, gives the flu its name.

Tomato flu’ in Kerala

The worst affected areas in Kerala are Kollam, Neduvathur, Anchal and Aryankavu. Thus, the health department is camping in these areas and taking preventive measures, the flu only impacts children under the age of five. Also, awareness campaigns have been launched in villages and Anganwadis. Anganwadi centers in many places have been closed as a precaution to prevent the spread of tomato fever.

Symptoms of ‘Tomato flu’

1)High fever

2) Body aches

3) Tiredness

4) Colour change in hands and legs

5) Joint pain

6) mouth irritation, making it difficult to consume food.

How to prevent it?

This ‘Tomato flu’ is a viral infection. Though the condition isn’t alarming, we need to maintain caution.

1) Stay hydrated by drinking boiled water.

2) Do not let the blisters, caused by Tomato flu, crack.

3) Avoid close contact with the infected person.

4) Important for the infected person to stay hygienic.

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