New Delhi: Amid panic due to the infamous Tomato fever outbreak in Kerala, some health experts and Tamil Nadu health secretary Dr J Radhakrishnan suggested that the fever/flu cases being reported in southern India are not Tomato flu but are caused by a virus variant of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD). While the symptoms in both the condition more or less remain the same, Dr Jacob John, a prominent virologist told BBC that the fever shouldn’t be called Tomato flu as it is a classic case of HFMD outbreak, which has been reported in Kerala before as well. Meanwhile, as panic ad concerns continue to grow around Tomato Fever or HFMD, here’s all you need to know about this condition.
What is Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD)
Hand, foot, and mouth disease are common in children under 5 years old that causes sores called ulcers inside or around their mouth and a rash or blisters on their hands, feet, legs, or buttocks in addition to high fever.
The illness is usually not serious, but it is highly contagious and spreads quickly, especially at schools and daycare centres.
Symptoms of HFMD
Some major symptoms of Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) include:
- Eating or drinking less
- Sore throat
- Feeling unwell
- Mouth sores
- Loss of appetite
- Skin rashes
Causes of HFMD
Since HFMD is a communicable disease, it usually spreads from one infected person to another. The virus can spread to others through an infected person’s
- Nose and throat secretions, such as saliva, drool, or nasal mucus
- Fluid from blisters or scabs
Washing Hands: Children must be encouraged to wash their hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
Clean and disinfect: All surfaces in close and frequent contact must be disinfected at regular intervals.
Don’t touch eyes, mouth or nose: A child can get infected with hand, foot, and mouth disease if they have the virus on their hands and then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Treatment of HFMD
If a child is showing symptoms of HFMD, they must be taken to a doctor immediately and must be fed water regular intervals.