WATCH: Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease Pops Up at Three U.S. College Campuses

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It is a painful disease that normally affects children, but in recent months, it has popped up at U.S. universities outside of the Bay Area.

It is called hand, foot, and mouth disease, and two Florida universities and the University of Illinois have reported up to three dozen cases in the last couple of months.

KRON4 spoke with an infectious disease expert at UC Berkeley who says he is not surprised.

Hand, foot, and mouth disease looks like this–blisters so painful you can’t walk or pick up anything. It also can come with a fever.

According to the National Institutes of Health, about 200,000 people in the U.S. get the disease each year, but Dr. Fenyong Liu, an infectious disease expert at UC Berkeley, says a lot more than that carry the viruses associated with the disease.

“This represents a silent epidemic because people don’t know they have the virus, and we don’t know these people have the virus,” Dr. Liu said.

Doctors say the disease is highly contagious, making daycare centers, and now colleges, ideal breeding grounds.

“This fecal or oral transmission is really an issue when you have dining hall and all this share the dorm,” Dr. Liu said.

There haven’t been any reported cases in the Bay Area recently.

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SOURCE: KRON4 – Hermela Aregawi