Tomato Flu: What Is It and What Do You Need to Know?

The viral illness known as tomato flu causes skin irritation, dehydration, and blisters/rashes on various body regions in children, typically five-year-olds. It is known as tomato fever or tomato flu because the blisters are typically red and resemble tomatoes when they grow to be quite large.

What is the connection between tomato and Tomato Flu?

There are some believe that the flu has something to do with tomatoes. The name 'Tomato' comes from the red and painful blisters that emerge across the plant and progressively expand to the size of a tomato.

Important Facts

  • The Coxsackie A16 virus is the cause of the uncommon infectious illness known as tomato fever. This infection is known as "tomato flu" because it causes patients to develop painful, red blisters on their bodies that eventually grow to the size of tomatoes.

  • Proliferating in India and generating several COVID-19-like symptoms, such as fever, exhaustion, and body aches. Tomato flu may not be a viral infection in children but rather a complication of dengue or chikungunya fever.

  • The virus may be a new strain of the viral hand, foot, and mouth illness, primarily affecting children and adults with impaired immune systems between the ages of 1 and 5. After ruling out any additional probable sources of the sickness, the cases in India are being identified.   

This is because children with tomato fever, like many other viral infections, such as influenza, may experience exhaustion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, dehydration, swelling of the joints, and body aches.

Indian Scenario

The virus received its name from one distinguishing feature COVID does not have painful bright red blisters that spread all over the body and can eventually grow to the size of a tomato.

ü While the virus is uncommon, at least 100 cases have been reported in India since the first case was discovered on May 6 in Kerala.

ü Following coronavirus and monkeypox, Tomato Flu is rising in India, with approximately 82 points of Tomato Flu or Tomato Fever documented since May 2022.

ü Over 100 tomato flu cases were reported in four distinct states in India: Haryana, Odisha, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. The majority of occurrences occur in children aged 1 to 9 years. However, no other regions are affected other than the four specified states.


Common Symptoms

  • Large, reddish-colored blisters the size of tomatoes, rashes, skin sensitivity, extreme fever, dehydration, body pains, and joint swelling.

The most typical symptoms of Tomato Flu infection are −

  • Discoloration or skin discomfort − Legs and hands become discolored and slightly unrecognizable.

  • Exhaustion and tiredness − While fatigue is typical among frequent travelers, it might pose a health risk. Abdominal pains, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea: Although these symptoms are frequent, they can harm your overall health.

  • Coughing, fever, sneezing, or runny nose −  are coronavirus symptoms.

  • Joint pain and body ache − A person afflicted with the Tomato virus would have difficulties moving smoothly.

  • Additional signs include −  Hands, knees, buttocks tannish, Nausea, Vomiting, stomach pains, Fatigue, Coughing, Sneezing, and clogged nose.


The disease's origins are still a mystery.

  • India's tomato flu outbreak has only been limited to Kollam. Tomato flu is contagious, just like other flu instances.

  • Children who are infected need to be kept apart since the virus can transmit quickly from one person to another.

  • However, there's little doubt that it spreads quickly. It is best to keep your distance from the sick child.

Things to do if the child becomes infected

  • Contact a doctor right away.

  • Maintain good hygiene.

  • Allow your child not to scratch the blisters.

  • Make your child consume heated water to keep them hydrated.

  • Bathe the youngster in warm water and avoid close contact with the infected person.

  • The affected child's clothes, cutlery, and other belongings must be cleaned to prevent the flu from spreading.


In India, tomato flu cases are found only after diagnostic testing, excluding dengue and chikungunya viruses, as well as the Zika virus, varicella-zoster virus, and herpes.


  • Tomato flu is highly contagious, and a five- to seven-day quarantine is advised.

  • Other precautions to prevent the virus's transmission include hand washing and not sharing clothes, food, or toys with affected people.

  • Contact with soiled diapers or unclean surfaces may also spread the virus, as can youngsters putting virus-infected things in their mouths.

Advises on Tomato flu

  • The significance of maintaining adequate hygiene

  • Sanitation should be a regular occurrence or practice among prospective patients.

  • Parents are asked to urge their minor children to avoid physical contact with other youngsters or estranged bodies.

Preventive approaches to Tomato flu

This disease has a low fatality rate and is easily treatable. Here are some precautions you can take to avoid Tomato Flu.

  • Increase your intake of water, juices, and other liquids.

  • Drink more boiling water.

  • Avoid touching the blisters if possible.

  • Practice decent personal hygiene.

  • Keep a safe distance from suspicious instances.

  • Get enough rest to avoid the long-term impacts of Tomato Flu.


There is currently no specific therapy for tomato flu. As a result, this disease can only be treated symptomatically. There are currently no specific treatments for this disease, and it is being treated with various combinations of chikungunya and dengue medications.

Treatment is similar to that given to young children with chikungunya and dengue

  • Plenty of drinks, relaxation, and hot water sponge baths to reduce rashes.

  • Fever-reducing drugs such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen may also be administered to children.


Tomato Flu has no connection with COVID-19. These symptoms are common in other forms of viral infections as well. As a result, there is no need to panic because authorities have been urged to remain vigilant.