More than a dozen students at Florida State University are sick with hand, foot and mouth disease, an illness that’s usually seen in young children.
So why are college-age adults contracting the disease?
The viral illness can cause fever, painful mouth sores, and a skin rash on the hands and feet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It’s not surprising to see cases of the disease on a college campus, as it can sometimes affect adults, said Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious-disease specialist and a senior associate at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Center for Health Security.
“People are definitely exposed to each other at a higher intensity” in college dorms, where they share close living spaces, Adalja said.
Officials also advised all students living in the school’s housing, or fraternity and sorority houses to “Sanitize their residences thoroughly and install bottles of hand sanitizer in each residence,” the statement said.
To prevent the spread of the disease, the CDC recommends washing hands often, cleaning frequently touched surfaces, and avoiding close contact with people who have hand, foot and mouth disease.