No cluster cases of tomato flu in Maha; no need to panic: health dept
PUNE While cases of tomato flu are currently being reported across various states in India, there are no cluster cases of the disease in Maharashtra as of now, and hence, there is no need to worry, according to the state health department.
Tomato flu or hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) is a viral disease usually seen in children where there are papules and rashes that cause itching; it is also contagious. Recently, Kerala reported at least 82 cases of tomato flu in the Kollam district following which, Tamil Nadu ramped up surveillance for the disease at its border. However, Maharashtra health department officials have said that there has been no alert issued by the central government and hence, there is no need to panic.
Dr Pradeep Awate, state surveillance officer, said that there is no need to panic as Maharashtra and Pune have not reported any cluster of such cases. “During the summer season, tomato flu or HFMD is very common among children as they interact more with each other. Tomato flu or HFMD can be seen in younger children and very rarely in adults. Every year, young kids suffer from these diseases as their immunity is low. Paediatric doctors report such cases every year. However, they are not in clusters. We are conducting regular surveillance but there is no need to panic,” said Dr Awate.
Dr Awate added that the common symptoms of this disease include fever, sores in the mouth and skin rash. “It begins with mild fever, poor appetite, and often a sore throat. One or two days after the fever begins, painful sores develop in the mouth. They begin as small red spots that turn into blisters and often ulcers. The sores are usually located on the tongue, gums, and inside of the cheeks,” said Dr Awate.
He said that the treatment is based on the symptoms of the disease. “Children should rest and hydrate themselves enough. HFMD is a viral disease that is self-limiting and takes its own time to subside. Many doctors do not prescribe medicine for this illness unless the infection is severe. Infection in older children, adolescents, and adults is normally very mild and lasts around three days or sometimes less,” said Dr Awate.
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