Hand, foot and mouth disease has trickled onto UNF’s campus. The reported cases have been enough to cause university health practitioners to take notice, especially after the 15 reported cases at Florida State University (FSU) earlier this month.
Student Health Services (SHS) director Doreen Perez said three cases of the virus were diagnosed on campus last Thursday.
“It’s a virus that can go around any community,” Perez said.
Perez said hand, foot and mouth disease isn’t as common in college students as it is in younger children. The illness is more common in clusters of people, which is why it’s often found in preschools and military groups.
Hand, foot and mouth disease is spread through contact and bodily fluids. There is no specific treatment for the virus that causes a rash, fever and mouth sores. The symptoms usually last a week.
Perez, who described the three new cases as “bell ringers,” said the best solution was to spread the word about the disease. The university is posting fliers and placing hot buttons in bathrooms.
Currently Perez said that Student Health Services is focused more on prevention rather than treatment. She recommends hand washing and good hygiene as ways to avoid contracting the disease.
“We’ve got to be proactive and right now I’d say we’re ahead of the [curve],” she said.
For more information on the symptoms and prevention of hand, foot and mouth disease, visit Student Health Services’ website or call their hotline at (904) 620-2900.
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