A new virus known as tomato flu, or tomato fever, has developed in India in the state of Kerala in children under the age of five,
at the same time as we are dealing with the potential emergence of the fourth wave of COVID-19.
Due to the horrific COVID-19 pandemic, watchful management is preferred to stop further outbreaks of the rare viral infection,
Although the symptoms of the tomato flu virus resemble those of COVID-19 (both are initially characterised by fever, exhaustion, and bodyaches, and some COVID-19 patients also report skin rashes),
the virus is unrelated to SARS-CoV-2. Tomato flu may not actually be a viral infection in children, but rather a complication of dengue or chikungunya fever.
The virus may also represent a novel strain of the viral hand, foot, and mouth disease, a prevalent infectious disease
In certain case studies on different flu cases, immune-competent individuals have also been seen to have the condition.
Since tomato flu is a self-limiting condition, no specific medication is available to treat Tomato fever and related issues.
On May 6, 2022, the Kollam district of Kerala reported the first case of tomato flu; as of July 26, 2022,
the local government hospitals had documented the infection in more than 82 children under the age of five.
The neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka were alerted to this endemic viral disease named Tomato fever locally.