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India on Alert as Rare Viral Illness ‘Tomato Flu’ Spreads

  • More than 100 children infected with hand-foot-mouth disease
  • Infection is self-limiting and requires no specific treamment

India’s health ministry has issued testing and prevention guidelines to states following a surge of a new influenza virus variant, commonly known as tomato flu, with more than 100 infections reported among children over the last few months. 

Tomato flu gets its name from the often tomato-shaped blisters that appear across the patient’s body. It most commonly affects young children and will typically see flare-ups in nursery schools and daycares. Apart from the blisters, the highly infectious viral illness can cause fever, fatigue and body aches.