Tamil Nadu has ramped up surveillance at its borders in the wake of “tomato flu” cases being detected in Kerala. The flu that gets its name because of the red blister it causes, has raised concern in Coimbatore, with a team of officials deployed at the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border screening people coming from the neighboring state.
Dr P Aruna, the deputy director of health services, Coimbatore, told The Indian Express, “Three teams comprising revenue inspectors, health inspectors and police have been deployed on a shift basis. They will note down if someone has fever and rashes.”
What is tomato flu? Who does it affect?
Dr Aruna reported that the flu affects children below five years of age. The symptoms of this flu, also called Tomato fever, include rashes, skin irritation and dehydration. According to several reports, the flu can also cause tiredness, joint pain, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, high fever, and body ache. In some cases, it may also change the color of the legs and the hands.
“This flu is a self-limiting one and there is no specific drug for this,” Dr Aruna noted. This means that the symptoms will resolve overtime on their own if supportive care is given.
How can tomato flu be treated? How to take care of it?
Like other cases of flu, tomato fever is also contagious. “If someone is infected with this flu, they need to be kept in isolation as this could spread rapidly from one person to another,” Dr Aruna said.
It is essential to prevent children from scratching the blisters caused by the flu. Proper rest and hygiene is also advised. Utensils, clothes and other items used by the infected persons must be sanitized to prevent the flu from spreading.
Fluid intake would also help counteract dehydration. Most importantly, it is important to seek your doctor’s advice if you notice the above-mentioned symptoms.
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Preventive measures in Tamil Nadu
A team of revenue, health and police officials have been deployed at the Walayar checkpost located on the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border to screen people coming from the neighboring state.
The Coimbatore district has deployed three teams to monitor the border round-the-clock on a shift basis. They will note if someone displays symptoms like fever or rashes.
With the flu largely affecting children, authorities are also screening anganwadi centers across the district and close to 24 mobile teams with health officers have been deployed to carry out the process, Dr Aruna said.