Dr Radhakrishnan said that the Kerala Health Department told him that the situation was under control in the neighbouring state.

Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J RadhakrishnanSCREENGRAB/REDPIX
news Health Saturday, May 14, 2022 - 11:38

Tamil Nadu Health Secretary Dr J Radhakrishnan on Friday, May 13, said that there was no need for the public to panic in the state regarding the viral disease ‘Tomato Flu’ supposedly spreading in Kerala, as the neighbouring state has brought it under control. He also said that the Kerala Health Department has said that it was not Tomato Flu and just ‘Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease’. He was addressing the media at a construction site of the Tiruppur Medical College Hospital.

“There is a rumour that tomato fever and hand, foot and mouth disease is spreading. However, when I enquired, I was told that it is just the hand, foot and mouth disease, which affects small children. The Kerala government has clarified that it is not tomato fever and they have brought the existing cases of this viral disease - hand, foot and mouth disease - under control. So, there is no need to panic here,” he said.

Radhakrishnan also added that Tamil Nadu has an Integrated Diseases Surveillance Program, in which it has a link with every state. “Just because we have given a name to a viral infection, it does not mean the people should start panicking. Tomato flu got its name only because of the rashes that appear, which look like tomatoes,” he appealed to the people.

The Health Secretary further added that another controversy spreading in Kerala was regarding the food item ‘shawarma’. “The food safety officials have conducted precautionary inspections in more than 3,000 shops in Tamil Nadu. There are news coming that the food item is ‘banned’. There is nothing of that sort happening, but the officials are issuing advisories on how to store and prepare the food in a proper and healthy manner,” he said and added that people are also directed not to ripen mangoes using carbide and to allow it to ripen naturally.

On the COVID-19 front, he said that the number of cases recorded in the state are less than hundred consistently and there is only sporadic reporting of cases, like in the IIT Madras and Sathya Sai Medical College clusters. “However, they are also brought under control,” Radhakrishnan said.

Read: Tomato fever cases reported in Kerala: All you need to know

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