Hand, foot and mouth disease outbreak hitting college campuses

U.S. & World

Health officials are on alert after a growing number of college campuses are seeing an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease, a virus that usually affects young children.

But now it’s hitting college students in close quarters and spreading.

Hundreds of students are complaining of painful blisters along with a fever and sore throat caused by a virus.

“Got it really bad on my hands and really bad on my feet,” Trevor Briggs said.

So far, there are 132 cases at John’s Hopkins in Baltimore and other colleges reporting outbreaks include Dartmouth, Lehigh, Marist, Wesleyan, Princeton and Mars Hill in North Carolina.

“We all knew what it was right away when we saw it, but when the numbers started to accumulate, that’s when we all started to say, OK, this is very unusual,” said Dr. Roanna Kessler.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the highly contagious virus characterized by a fever, sore throat and painful sores is common in children under 5, but others can catch it, too. 

The outbreak caused is caused by an uncommon strain of the virus that most students were never exposed to as kids.

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