This new virus appears while monkeypox worries in the West. But according to some sources, the threat of another pandemic is not yet on the agenda.
The origin of the disease
This newly emerging disease was discovered in India a few weeks ago. It has become endemic in the Kerala region. The Indian media decided to call it the tomato flu. India Today speaks of more than 80 recorded cases.
The origin of this virus is currently unknown, but there are two hypotheses: first, given the symptoms they share, it may have a link with monkeypox; if not, it would be a new form of a very common infection in small children called hand-feet-mouth.
Tomato flu: What is this new disease, the first cases of which have been… https://t.co/A4TeAoWkUQ via @20 minutes
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Who are the main targets of the disease?
Dr Aruna, Deputy Director of Coimbatore Health Services, explains that the disease only affects children. However, the spread can happen very quickly. It is therefore essential to isolate the person presenting the symptoms. Here are her words during her interview when she was interviewed by Indian Express:
“If someone is infected with this flu, they must be isolated. Because it could spread quickly from person to person. »
Round, red rashes would appear as the signs of this disease called tomato flu. Followed by other symptoms such as seasonal flu, they are painful and spread throughout the body.
The child with this virus would suffer from a high fever as well as other pains like nausea, cough, diarrhea and dehydration with irritations on the mouth. There would even be pain felt in the joints as well as stomach cramps.
Sometimes, a color change is observed in the legs and hands of the infected person.
A contagious disease
Some virologists would compare the virus to a so-called hand-foot-mouth syndrome. This comparison is due to the fact that it is transmitted by direct contact with the infected. On the 6th of last month, 82 children were reportedly infected in Kerala. Nevertheless, the virus does not appear to be dangerous.
According to Dr. Subhash Chandra, this disease is contagious. It spreads from person to person. Its true mode of spread, however, is still only being studied.
A disease that cannot be cured
Like hand-foot-mouth syndrome, the so-called tomato flu cannot be cured. We can still only treat its symptoms.
Doctor and Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Chandra advises patients with tomato fever to “drink plenty of water.” And as with other viral fevers, you also have to “rest in bed”. Thus, the patient’s body is hydrated and rested.
So that the fever does not spread, infected children must be isolated. For the time being, there are no deaths to be deplored, only there is no treatment yet. The above precautions are only intended to relieve symptoms.
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Is there a pandemic threat to fear?
The world is emerging from a Covid-19 pandemic that lasted more than two years. And quite recently, another disease has appeared in Europe: it is in particular monkey pox. It is therefore normal that the appearance of a new disease worries people. But experts assure that a new pandemic is not yet to be feared.
Benjamin Rossi, recalls that infectious diseases “are part of life”. And he goes on to say: “they are there all the time. This is reported by the media actu.fr.
Another infectious disease doctor, Aulnay-sous-Bois, reassures by saying:
“Not all viruses are Covid. »
According to this doctor from the Robert Ballanger hospital, Indian scientists are looking into the sequencing of the tomato flu because of the context of the release of covid-19 and above all, the appearance of monkeypox.
“Some time ago, with rashes in children, doctors would have said it was a Coxsackie, a mild, childlike virus, which gives hand-foot-mouth syndrome. They wouldn’t have been looking for a new virus. There, the symptoms resembled those of monkeypox, they looked and found something else,” says Benjamin Rossi.
And he adds:
“When there are three cases, it makes world news. It seems quite distant and not serious at all. »