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Mysuru, Kodagu on alert over ‘Tomato flu’ cases in Kerala

By The Hindu Bureau

Mysuru and Kodagu districts, which share a border with Kerala, are on alert over the outbreak of ‘tomato flu’ in the neighboring State.

Health workers have been deployed at border check-posts in Bavali in Mysuru district and Kutta, Makutta and Karike in Kodagu for surveillance over the new viral infection. They have been asked to examine children below five years of age for symptoms like skin rashes, fever, skin irritation, and take appropriate steps in view of the general alert.

Though no travel curbs have been imposed, the district health authorities have been asked to step up surveillance at the border to prevent spread of tomato flu cases to Karnataka and report any suspected case to the State headquarters.

So far, no case of tomato flu has been reported at the border.

Mysuru District Health Officer K H Prasad told The Hindu that the health team deployed at Bavali is keeping a watch on people entering Karnataka from Kerala where the cases have been reported. Surveillance for fever, skin rashes, dehydration among children have been stepped up following directions from the Karnataka Government.

Dr Venkatesh, District Health Officer, Kodagu said the district is on alert over cases of tomato flu in Kerala. Kodagu has three border check-posts at Karike, Kutta and Makutta. Surveillance has been stepped up in all these areas with health teams sensitised on the cases and instructed to carry out screening of the children entering the State from Kerala with their parents, guardians and relatives. “In case of any suspected case, the same will be reported to the district administration besides taking up medical intervention,” he said.

Senior health officials said patients recovering from either dengue or chikungunya are susceptible to tomato flu. Though it is not fatal, there is a need for alertness as it causes skin rashes and fluid is accumulated on the skin via boils resembling tomato, said Mysuru District Vector Borne Diseases Control Officer Dr Chidambar.

Tomato flu symptoms are similar to dengue and chikungunya symptoms. Secretions from the skin can transmit infection from one infected child to another, he said.

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