Bhubaneswar: With incidence of tomato flu cases being reported from different parts of the country, the Directorate of Public Health in Odisha is on the alert.
Following reports of hand foot and mouth disease (HFMD) among children in some districts in the State, the Directorate of Public Health held an interaction with specialists and professors from medical colleges to ascertain its incidence and whether it has taken epidemic form.
“To know the exact number of incidence of such cases we had an interaction with specialists and professors of medical colleges,” informed Dr Niranjan Mishra, Director of Public Health.
Dr Mishra clarified that all diseases can remain in sporadic form.
“Our concern is whether it has taken an epidemic form. We will need to create awareness and surveillance will be needed if large number of cases are reported in epidemic form from any village, cluster, place ward or hostel ,” Mishra said.
The Public Health Director informed that the Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) has been requested to collect samples to which they (RMRC) has agreed.
The RMRC has agreed to conduct its viral detection test, he added.
He said guidelines regarding collection of sample and how it will be collected will be decided soon.
“Samples could be throat swab, stool sample, blister fluid or blister scab. The test will identify the virus,” he added.
Dr Mishra stated that the symptoms seen in most cases resemble HFMD caused by a virus called Coxsackievirus so it is nothing new.
“Similar symptoms like blisters are also seen in case of Coxsackievirus infection. We suspect it could be that. So to confirm that suspicion we held a meeting to develop a mechanism,” Dr Mishra explained.