Undeclared Emergency in India By Pm Narendra Modi

Tomato Fever Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

Dec 26, 2023

There’s a new illness called Tomato Fever spreading in Kerala, India, especially among kids and causing worry for parents after COVID-19. Even though it shows similar symptoms to COVID-19, it might be a different illness altogether.

Researchers have found that Tomato Fever is a type of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD). HFMD has been a source of concern before, keeping parents awake at night.

It’s known to be easily spread among children. Before we discuss Tomato Flu, let’s revisit some facts and symptoms of the familiar Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease.

Important Information:

In 1998, Taiwan experienced a widespread outbreak of enterovirus 71 infection, leading to thousands of cases of hand-foot-and-mouth disease. China has also faced yearly outbreaks since 2008.

The infection was highly contagious, with a 100% attack rate, and it was caused by either coxsackievirus A16 or enterovirus 71.

Tragically, about 90% of the patients who lost their lives were under 5 years old. Additionally, the average age of patients experiencing complications in the central nervous system was just 6 months.

What are the symptoms of Tomato Fever?

What are the symptoms of Tomato Fever?

The symptoms of Tomato Fever typically appear 4-6 days after being exposed to the virus. These symptoms include:

  1. Fever
  2. Loss of appetite (Anorexia)
  3. Feeling generally unwell (Malaise)
  4. Sore throat
  5. Formation of vesicles (small fluid-filled sacs)
  6. General rash on the feet and buttocks

In children with Tomato Flu, the main symptoms are similar to those seen in Chikungunya, followed by Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease.

What are the symptoms of Tomato Fever?

Symptoms of Tomato Fever: After an incubation period of 4-6 days, the symptoms of Tomato Fever include:

  1. Fever
  2. Loss of appetite (Anorexia)
  3. Feeling generally unwell (Malaise)
  4. Sore throat
  5. Formation of vesicles (fluid-filled sacs)
  6. General rash on feet and buttocks

Primary Symptoms of Tomato Flu in Children: Children with Tomato Flu show symptoms similar to Chikungunya, followed by Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease. These symptoms include:

  1. High Fever
  2. Rashes
  3. Intense Joint Pain
  4. Rashes leading to Skin Irritation
  5. Saliva Drooling due to mouth ulcers

The name “Tomato Flu” comes from the eruption of red and painful blisters throughout the body, gradually enlarging to the size of a tomato.

Note: While it may resemble chickenpox initially, the presence of blisters in the mouth, palm, and feet is indicative of Tomato Fever, which is generally not considered life-threatening.

Additional Symptoms: Apart from the primary symptoms, Tomato Fever may also manifest in the following ways:

  1. Fatigue
  2. Nausea
  3. Vomiting
  4. Diarrhea
  5. Dehydration
  6. Swelling of joints
  7. Body aches

Although the virus is considered rare, at least 100 cases have been reported in India since the first case was identified in Kerala on May 6, according to a report in Lancet Respiratory Medicine on August 17.

How do doctors determine if someone has Tomato Fever?

Diagnosing Tomato Fever involves a thorough examination of the patient’s symptoms. When individuals display characteristics such as fever, anorexia, malaise, sore throat, vesicle formation, general rash on feet and buttocks, high fever, rashes, intense joint pain, skin irritation, and drooling of saliva, doctors may suspect Tomato Fever.

To confirm the diagnosis, doctors typically recommend a series of serological (blood-related) and molecular tests. These tests are intended to identify the presence of various viruses that could be causing the symptoms. The list of potential viruses includes Dengue, Zika virus, Chikungunya, herpes, Varicella-zoster virus, and Coxsackie virus.

It’s crucial to note that there isn’t a specific test designed exclusively for Tomato Fever. Instead, the diagnostic process relies on eliminating other possible viral infections through the conducted tests. Once other viruses are ruled out, and the symptoms align with those commonly associated with Tomato Fever, doctors can make a diagnosis based on the process of elimination.

What is the treatment of Tomato Fever?

What is the treatment of Tomato Fever?

Treating Tomato Flu is a lot like dealing with a regular flu. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Isolation and Hygiene:
    • Stay away from others to prevent spreading the illness.
    • Keep things clean and practice good hygiene.
  2. Rest:
    • Get plenty of rest to help your body recover.
  3. Fluids:
    • Drink lots of fluids like water to stay hydrated.
  4. Hot Water Sponge:
    • Use a warm water sponge to soothe irritation and rashes.

Important Note: Currently, there’s no specific vaccine or medicine for Tomato Flu. The closest prevention is getting the influenza vaccine to protect against the flu.

For symptom relief:

  • Use medications like paracetamol for fever and body aches.
  • Consider ibuprofen and other treatments based on symptoms.

Duration: It usually takes about 5-7 days to recover from Tomato Flu.

It’s important to note that if Tomato Flu in children isn’t controlled or prevented in time, it could potentially lead to more serious consequences. This is because, if the disease spreads among adults, it might cause more severe problems. So, taking measures to control and prevent the outbreak in kids is crucial.

How to prevent yourself with Tomato Fever?

Preventing Tomato Fever involves adopting some effective measures:

  1. Hygiene and Sanitization:
    • Maintain proper hygiene and keep your surroundings clean.
    • Regularly sanitize commonly touched surfaces to prevent the spread of the virus.
  2. Isolation of Infected Individuals:
    • If a child is infected, prevent them from sharing toys, clothes, food, or any items with non-infected children.
  3. Drug Repurposing and Vaccination:
    • Explore drug repurposing and vaccination as key strategies.
    • Vaccination is considered one of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to protect public health, particularly in children, older individuals, and those with weakened immune systems.
  4. Follow-up and Monitoring:
    • Stay vigilant for any serious outcomes or potential complications.
    • Regular follow-up and monitoring are essential to understand the need for additional treatments.

By emphasizing hygiene, isolating infected individuals, exploring drug repurposing and vaccination, and staying vigilant for any developments, you can help prevent the spread of Tomato Fever and protect public health, especially in vulnerable populations.


In conclusion, Tomato Fever, a newly emerged illness in Kerala, India, particularly affecting children, raises concerns resembling COVID-19 symptoms. Identified as a variation of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD), it shares similarities with outbreaks in Taiwan and China, emphasizing its contagious nature. Symptoms include fever, rash, and mouth ulcers, leading to its colloquial name, Tomato Flu. Diagnosing involves excluding other viruses through various tests. Treatment mirrors regular flu care, emphasizing isolation, hygiene, rest, and hydration. Prevention strategies include maintaining hygiene, isolating infected individuals, exploring drug repurposing, and vaccination. Vigilance and follow-up are crucial for understanding potential complications.

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