Posted: Friday, August 26, 2022. 9:00 am CST.
By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: Children in India are contracting a new and highly contagious viral infection that has been given the name “tomato flu,” the Washington Post reports.
About 82 children younger than 5 are infected and the first patient was identified in May.
Local media reports indicate that there are now infections in children from ages 1 to 9 years old.
The infection is being called the “Tomato flu” because it causes “eruption of red and painful blisters throughout the body that gradually enlarge to the size of a tomato,” according to an article published in the British medical journal Lancet.
The blisters resemble those seen on young monkeypox patients.
The article noted that the viral disease appears to spread through close contact and is not considered life-threatening.
Tomato flu could also be a new variant of hand, foot and mouth disease, which is common among children younger than 5, the Lancet article said.
Symptoms include high fever, rashes and intense joint pain – similar to those of chikungunya. Other symptoms include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and common influenza-like symptoms, akin to a dengue infection.
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