Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease Hits Florida State University


A viral infection more common to babies and toddlers has hit Florida State University student living quarters, prompting university officials to cancel several events this week, including fraternity rush activities.

An outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease has struck a small group of students, officials said.

“We are aware of more than a dozen cases so far,” said Lesley Sacher, director of the FSU Health and Wellness Center in a university release.

There is no treatment for the virus, which can cause mouth sores, skin rash and fever, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It takes about five days for the infection to run its course, university officials said.

FSU crews are wiping down affected dormitories with bleach and enacting “sanitation protocols for all public spaces on campus,” officials said. All living areas — dorms, fraternity and sorority houses, and others — have been advised to disinfect and provide bottles of hand sanitizers if they don’t already have them.

“Students should take the necessary precautions to sanitize their living and communal spaces including bathrooms,” said Tom Jacobson, director of Environmental Health & Safety.

Some fraternity members contracted the disease, so the university cancelled several events, including rush, on Tuesday night as a precaution to limit exposure for students while various buildings were being cleaned,” FSU spokeswoman Browning Brooks said.

The university notified the county health department immediately, Sacher said. FSU also will reach out to local restaurants and bars to sanitize their establishments.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Jeffrey Schweers