What is Tomato Flu? Causes, symptoms, prevention and treatment

What is Tomato Flu?

Introduction to Tomato Flu

After the covid outbreak, human immunity has gone down and as a result newer infections are arising. Besides covid virus, many other diseases like chikungunya, dengue, zika virus and monkeypox are being the widespread onset of monsoon and weather changes. Amidst all such seasonal diseases, tomato flu or tomato fever is the new entrant in the field of hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD). 

What is Tomato Flu- Tomato fever or tomato flu is not life-threatening. Tomato fever, the nomenclature has been based on red, painful blisters same a tomato which appears throughout the body and grows gradually to the size of a tomato. There is a myth that tomato flu has some significance with tomatoes.  


The origin of tomato flu is not known. Health professionals are trying to figure out the main cause of tomato flu. Till now no causes have been found that spread it and the causes are yet to be ascertained. 

Target of Tomato Flu

This is a contagious disease that targets children aged between one and five years, adults with weaker immunity are also prone to get infected easily. 


Symptoms are like chikungunya and dengue-like- 

  1. High Fever- Generally, an infected person experiences a high fever post-infection followed by coughing, sneezing and running nose. 
  2. Vomiting– Nausea and abdominal cramps are prominent.  
  3. Skin irritation– Red rashes and blisters emerge throughout the body causing skin irritation. 
  4. Swelling of joints– Infected person faces difficulties in smooth body movement, joint pain or body ache is visible. 
  5. Fatigue and tiredness- An infected person will face tiredness early and will be less competent to accomplish day-to-day work than usual. 
  6. Discoloration- It would cause discoloration of the legs and hands. 


This is not life-threatening, and the mortality rate is also not high. The treatment is easily available with generic medicines. Here are some ways through which we can prevent it- 

  1. Take more liquids like boiled water, juices and liquid content. 
  2. Isolate the infected person for a week to prevent its spread. 
  3. Maintain good hygiene. 
  4. Do not rub or touch the blisters. 
  5. Maintain physical distance from the infected person as it’s contagious. 
  6. Take proper rest and medicines under a doctor’s supervision for a speedy recovery. 
  7. Infected areas need to be properly sanitized regularly. 


On arrival of any of the symptoms mentioned, the patient is advised to meet a doctor and undergo the molecular and serological test as suggested with proper medicines, food, and rest. 


The treatment of this disease is like the treatment of chikungunya and dengue under the supervision of medical practitioners. Patients are being advised to take plenty of liquids, stay hydrated, isolate themselves and rest. 

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Reference: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanres/article/PIIS2213-2600(22)00300-9/fulltext

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