TALLAHASSEE, Fla.- An outbreak of the hand, foot and mouth disease has hit a small group of students at Florida State University. The viral infection, that popped up in students living quarters, caused several event cancelations Tuesday night.
The infection is known to cause mouth sores, skin rash and fever, according to the Centers for Disease Control. There is no treatment for the disease and it takes about five days to run it’s course.
According to Lesley Sacher, director of the FSU Health and Wellness Center, there are about a dozen confirmed cases of it so far. Officials said FSU crews are wiping down affected dormitories with bleach. They are also enacting “sanitation protocols for all public spaces on campus.”
All living areas, including dorms, fraternity and sorority houses, and others, have been advised to disinfect.
“Students should take the necessary precautions to sanitize their living and communal spaces including bathrooms,” said Tom Jacobson, director of Environmental Health & Safety, told the Tallahassee Democrat.
Some of the dozen students that contracted the infection were fraternity students. Tuesday night officials canceled fraternity rush events as a precaution to limit exposure to students.
The university notified the county health department immediately and will also be reaching out to local restaurants and bars to notify them of the virus and to let them know to sanitize facilities.
The disease is most common in infants and toddlers under five, but can sometimes occur in adults. Adults can have no symptoms and still pass the virus on to others.
The virus is extremely contagious and can be passed via direct contact with unwashed hands, by coughing and sneezing, or contact with blister fluid or surfaces contaminated with feces, said the CDC. Though the CDC said large outbreaks of the disease is uncommon in the U.S.
This virus is often confused with hoof-and-mouth disease.