Officials at Florida State University are advising all students that live on or near campus to sanitize their houses after an outbreak of a virus usually contracted by infants and toddlers.
Called hand, foot and mouth disease, the virus has struck several students who live on campus.
“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.
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Hand, foot and mouth disease is a “common viral illness” usually contracted by infants and children under the age of five, but can sometimes occur in adults. There is no treatment for the the virus, which can cause mouth sores, skin rashes and fever, according to the Center for Disease Control.
But, the CDC warns, adults can show no symptoms at all and still pass the virus on to others. University officials say the infection takes about five days to run its course.
It’s a highly contagious disease that can be transmitted from person to person via direct contact with unwashed hands, by coughing and sneezing, or contact with blister fluid or surfaces contaminated with feces, the CDC said.
FSU crews have been wiping down dorms with bleach and enacting "sanitation protocols" for public spaces on campus. The university has advised those who live in fraternity and sorority houses to do the same.
“The most important piece of advice is to wash your hands often with soap and water,” Sacher said.
FSU has reached out to businesses near campus – including restaurants and bars – and encouraged them to sanitize their buildings as well.
Two New Jersey high schools are also grappling with the disease. Kinnelon High School was forced to postone its girls and boys soccer games Thursday after a recent outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease, NJ.com reported. Last week, Pequannock High School had to reschedule its season-opening football game because of a hand, foot and mouth outbreak, according to The Associated Press.