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Tomato Flu Outbreak: Tomato Fever in Children 2022

After COVID-19 and Monkeypox, the most recent viral disease that has struck India with a jolt is the tomato flu. Every news outlet in August 2022 has been talking about the dangerous woes of the tomato fever which is spreading rapidly among infants and children over the last 3 months. What is Tomato Flu and why is it named so? What are tomato flu viral disease causes? What are the dangers of this viral disease? What are the signs and symptoms of Tomato Flu and how does it spread to others? You must have a ton of questions!

Read along to get a complete beginner’s guide on all you need to know about Tomato flu in Delhi and in India.

What is Tomato Flu Disease?

Tomato flu is a rare viral infection that leads to the infected person developing bright red blisters all over the body along with fever, tiredness and body ache. The distinctive name of the disease comes from the tendency of the red blisters to rapidly grow and resemble the appearance of tomatoes!

Tomato Flu is noted to share a wide variety of symptoms with the COVID-19, such as fever, headache, frequent chills and fatigue. However, what makes it distinct is the development of red blisters all over the body.

Alongside the tomato flu outbreak, experts say that tomato fever can also be an after-effect of diseases like dengue and chikungunya.

In India, over a 100 children aged between 1-5 have been reported to contract tomato flu up until September 1st 2022.

The first case of tomato flu in India was identified in Kollam, Kerala in May 2022. Some other highly affected areas of Kerala now include the Anchal, Aryankavu, and Neduvathur districts.

Recent updates about tomato flu odisha report that over 25 children aged between 1 and 9 have been infected with the fever in the state.

The disease is swiftly spreading across the country but, at present, cases are limited to the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Haryana and Odisha. Government authorities are putting their best foot forward to contain the spread furthermore.

Although medical experts say that the tomato fever is not a life-threatening disease, it is safe to say that authorities are keeping a close eye on the current status of tomato flu viral disease and taking active measures to prevent its spread.

How to Test & Identify Tomato Flu?

Testing and identification protocol is still uncertain as of now. Some sources suggest that due to the self-limiting nature of tomato flu, doctors don’t generally prescribe getting tested. IIf children show likely symptoms of tomato fever, they are first tested for common diseases like dengue, chikungunya and the zika virus. If all the above is ruled out, a case of tomato flu can be considered.

India is fast-becoming a hub of advanced virology lab centres and the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly contributed to an increased level of surveillance. Hence, we can expect a possible testing procedure to make its way into the mainstream for tomato flu soon too.

Is Tomato Flu a Novel Disease?

Experts are still contemplating the signs, symptoms, treatment and cure of tomato flu. However, it has been noticed that the signs of tomato fever bear a resemblance with many other diseases.

For example, red blisters have also been seen in the case of the Monkeypox virus. Other symptoms like fever, fatigue, nausea, diarrhoea, dehydration, body ache and pain in the joints are commonly seen in the case of dengue.

Experts suggest that tomato flu may be a likely variant of the hand-foot-and mouth disease (HFMD).

Want to know more about the Monkeypox Outbreak in India? Click here.

How is Tomato Flu Transmitted?

With so many cases of the tomato fever among infants and children, parents are troubled with the thought of how tomato flu is transmitted.

Tomato Flu is a highly contagious disease which can get transmitted from one child to another easily. The tomato flu virus may spread through unhygienic soiled diapers, unclean surfaces and direct contact of an exposed surface to the mouth.

Experts suggest a 5-7 day isolation period for maximum safety against the spread of tomato flu.

If you notice any influenza-like symptoms with the development of red rashes or blisters, immediately isolate your child and ensure a safe social distance from others. Precautionary measures should be taken till a complete recovery is ascertained.

Precautions to Prevent Tomato Flu Spread

Although research is underway to uncover more efficient modes of treatment for the virus, no antiviral drugs or vaccines are available for tomato flu cure and treatment. Hence, precautionary measures are ideal in this situation to protect you and your loved ones from tomato flu.

  • Increased sanitation is the best and safest solution to prevent the spread of tomato flu.

  • Encourage frequent hand-washing for your child.

  • Avoid sharing clothes, toys and food with at-risk children at school or on the playground.

  • Prevent your child from putting exposed items directly in his/her mouth to prevent exposure to Tomato Flu.

  • Educate your child to avoid hugging and getting close with other children having rashes or showing symptoms of fever.

  • Drink filtered water and stay hydrated at all times.

  • Always keep your surroundings neat and clean.


Infection with the tomato flu may be a new and lesser known disease but there is clearly no need to panic since no fatality has been reported since the outbreak emerged. If you notice red blisters on any part of your child’s skin, immediately take precautionary measures and seek medical advice from a professional.

The Central Government as well as the ICMR are also ensuring the best safety standards to prevent the spread of tomato flu. The best way to prevent the spread of tomato flu is to keep a close eye on tomato flu India recent updates in the news and instruct your kids to practice hygienic safety protocols.

Want to stay updated with the most recent news and updates about the Indian healthcare system? Read our blog and follow an established team of experts at Sunil Khattri & Associates.


The Author :

Dr. Sunil Khattri

+91 9811618704

Dr Sunil Khattri MBBS, MS(General Surgery), LLB, is a Medical doctor and is a practicing Advocate in the Supreme Court of India and National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi.

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