Outbreak of mysterious virus in India — Analysis

The so-called tomato flu has affected greater than 80 minors in a number of Indian states, authorities say

The Indian authorities has issued an advisory to all states amid the unfold of a brand new sort of influenza. Predominantly affecting minors, the viral illness ends in the formation of crimson blisters that appear like tomatoes – therefore the situation’s title, tomato flu.

In accordance with a press release launched by India’s Well being Ministry on Tuesday, greater than 82 instances involving kids underneath 5 have been reported, with the illness prevalent within the nation’s southern states. The primary case of the flu was reported in Kerala state on Could 6.

Though scientists imagine the brand new flu to be a sort of hand, foot and mouth illness (HFMD), they’ve up to now been unable to establish the precise nature of the pathogen.

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Nonetheless, the authorities have been fast to guarantee the general public that the brand new virus is just not associated to Covid-19 or monkeypox.

Signs of the sickness may be mistaken for these of different viral infections, particularly within the early phases, officers have warned. Youngsters who’ve contracted the illness often develop a fever, lack of urge for food, sore throat, sores within the mouth and a pores and skin rash, largely confined to the fingers and toes.

If tomato flu is suspected, a baby must be positioned in quarantine for as much as per week to stop the unfold of the virus, the Well being Ministry’s advisory recommends.

Whereas there aren’t any disease-specific drugs for therapy of the an infection at current, it’s stated to be comparatively benign, with signs resolving on their very own inside just a few days. Officers advise sufferers to take paracetamol to alleviate fever and physique ache, drink loads of fluids, and relaxation. Scorching water sponges can be utilized to the rash to alleviate irritation, the advisory stated.

Indian authorities have famous that throat and nostril swabs must be taken if tomato flu is suspected, with the samples examined to rule out different infectious ailments resembling dengue, chikungunya, zika virus, varicella-zoster virus, and herpes.

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