Outbreak of Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease in Florida

Florida State University health officials are engaged in preventive actions on campus after several students came down this week with a viral infection more commonly seen in day care centers known as hand, foot and mouth disease, according to an alert from FSU.

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

“This illness usually lasts for a few days, and there is no medicine to treat it. Blisters may form on hands, feet or in the mouth with mild fever or sore throat causing the patient to feel uncomfortable for about five days.”

The university is advising all community living facilities (University Housing, fraternity and sorority houses, scholarship houses, etc.) to sanitize their residences thoroughly and install bottles of hand sanitizer in each residence where they may not already have them, the alert noted.

FSU will continue its sanitation protocols for all public spaces on campus. “Students should take the necessary precautions to sanitize their living and communal spaces including bathrooms,” said Tom Jacobson, director of Environmental Health & Safety.

“We notified the Leon County Health Department as soon as we knew,” Sacher said. FSU officials are working diligently to educate the university community and prevent further transmission. Officials said they will encourage community partners such as local restaurants and bars to sanitize their premises.

“The most important piece of advice,” said Sacher,”is to wash your hands often with soap and water.”

Visit the Centers for Disease Control for more information on the hand, foot and mouth disease.

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