Thursday, October 27, 2016

Hand, foot, mouth disease at University of Illinois

Health officials have reported over 60 cases of hand, foot, and mouth disease in college students attending University of Illinois. A significant outbreak like this is unusual in this population, as the Coxsakie A16 virus normally causes this illness in children younger than 5 years old.

Transmisison routes for this virus are: direct contact, respiratory (including oral secretions spread by kissing), fecal-oral, and fomites. Although adults can still contract the virus, disease symptoms are typically more apparent in children.

Classic symptoms of the disease include: fever, rash, and mouth ulcers. The illness is usually resolved after 7 to 10 days.

The University of Illinois hasn't seen the only outbreak of hand, foot, and mouth disease. Earlier this fall, Florida State University saw a HFMD outbreak in about 15 students. Colorado University Boulder and high schools in Burlington, Vermont; La Porte, Indiana; and Pequannock and Kinnelon, New Jersey have seen smaller outbreaks of the disease.

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