Tomato flu to Nipah virus: Infections in the air

Just when we thought the Covid-19 pandemic is the only thing we are dealing with, several flu and viral infections are creeping in. 
Covid is spreading rapidly in India again
Covid is spreading rapidly in India again. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Gurpreet Kaur Updated: 23 Oct 2023, 13:08 pm IST
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In India, the Covid-19 pandemic has seen the second-highest number of confirmed cases in the world of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), according to official figures. As of May 2022, the number of deaths in India due to coronavirus has touched more than 5.2 lakh. In fact, after the Delta and Omicron variants, fresh cases of XE, a more transmissible Covid-19 variant, are starting to emerge. Just when we thought the Covid-19 pandemic is the only thing we are dealing with, several flu and viral infections are creeping in.

Tomato flu

This rare viral disease, which causes blisters that look like tomatoes, recently wreaked havoc in Kerala with about 80 children under age five already affected, as of May 11, 2022. The outbreak has caused an alert in the neighboring states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Also, read: Viral got you down? Try these 4 simple home remedies to break a fever

Symptoms and prevention

Tomato flu or tomato fever causes rashes or blisters, skin irritation and dehydration in the people who are affected. It cannot be made certain yet if its causative agent is related to chikungunya, a viral infection or dengue fever. Apart from the blisters, it also results in high fever, body ache and joint swelling, much like the symptoms of chikungunya. Additional symptoms include cramps, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and the discolouration of hands, knees and buttocks.

signs of poor health
Check the severity of your fever. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

If you see any of these symptoms, make sure to see the doctor and before that, avoid scratching rashes and blisters, maintain proper hygiene and rest. Stay in isolation and get proper hydration.

Nipah virus

This viral infection, which is zoonotic, is also known as NiV. It is said that fruit bats have led to the propagation of the virus and it may pass from animals to humans. Not just for Tomato flu, Kerala’s health department has issued a warning about this virus too.

Symptoms and prevention

The symptoms of Nipah virus include brain swelling, often known as encephalitis, apart from the common cough, fever, headache, sore throat, disorientation, and breathing difficulties. They usually occur anywhere between four days and two weeks after the viral contact.

Since it is fruit bat mating season, keep an eye out for them and do not eat fruits that have fallen to the ground and been bitten by birds. Fruits should be well-cleaned before use and people who live in bat-infested areas should be extra cautious.

Monkeypox virus

Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic infection and it is making a flutter ever since the United Kingdom reported its first case. Although human transmission of the virus is more common in Africa, the not-so-severe disease is a milder cousin of smallpox and once infected, the individual might see symptoms for 14-21 days.

Symptoms and prevention

After the infection, the symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, chills, body ache, exhaustion and even rashes or open sores on the face and other body parts.

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back ache in Covid-19
Yes, we know the body ache is bad! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

At the outset, a patient infected with monkeypox will have symptoms like fever, headache, chills, body ache, exhaustion and after that a painful rash or open sores might appear on the face first and then on other body parts.

One should not close contact with skin lesions of the infected person. Also, do not consume undercooked meat or come in contact with infected animals or infected material (beddings and linens) of the patients.

As they say, prevention is always better than cure and so is the case with these recent outbreaks of flu and viruses.

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About the Author

A lifestyle journalist with a perennial hunger for all nice things in life - from fashion to food and different cultures. When she is not writing in her favourite coffee spot, she spends her time socializing with people or exploring different cities. ...Read More

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