Please be advised that we have had several cases of Coxsackie virus on our campus. The Student Health Service has been monitoring this closely and offers the following information and guidance.
Hand,foot and mouth (HFM) disease is a viral infection caused by a strain of Coxsackie virus. It causes a blister-like rash that, as the name implies, involves the hands, feet and mouth. The virus is moderately contagious and can be spread by direct close contact with nose and throat discharge, blisters and feces of infected people, or touching objects or surfaces that have the virus on them.
The usual period from infection to onset of symptoms is 3-7 days. Symptoms usually begin with a fever, reduced appetite, sore throat, and a feeling of being unwell. A day or two after the fever starts painful sores can develop in the mouth. A skin rash with flat red spots may also develop on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. The rash may blister but won’t itch. The fluid in the blisters or ulcers contain the virus which can be passed to another person through nasal and oral secretions, and touching objects or surfaces that have the virus on them. A person is contagious when the symptoms appear and may continue until the blister-like skin lesions disappear. A person is most likely to spread the disease to others during the first week of illness. Some people, especially adults, can pass the virus without showing any signs or symptoms of the disease.
Although there is no specific treatment for HFM disease, frequent hand washing can help prevent the spread of the virus. Treatment is aimed at fever control and maintaining good hydration.
If you develop any of the above mentioned signs and symptoms of Coxsackie virus, you should call the Health Service at 973-408-3414. The office is open on Saturday and Sunday from 10-2. Additional information about Coxsackie virus can be found here.