Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease Outbreak Reported at Harvard U.

“Why do weird diseases keep spreading on our campus?” Tuesday’s Harvard Crimson quoted a student as saying.

According to the campus newspaper:

Harvard University Health Services has confirmed several cases of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease on campus, prompting Currier House staff to alert students of prevention efforts.

In an email sent to House residents on Monday, Currier House Resident Dean Amanda S. Lobell ’99 warned students to be vigilant of cases of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease going around campus and Cambridge.

They are said to be “isolated cases.”

The appearance of hand, foot and mouth disease follows a mumps outbreak at Harvard in the spring of 2016, when more than 60 people with ties to the university contracted the disease that vaccines normally prevent.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hand, foot, and mouth disease is a common viral illness that usually affects infants and children younger than 5 years old. Less frequently it may occur in older children and adults.

It usually starts with a fever, reduced appetite, sore throat, and malaise. One or two days after the fever starts, painful sores can develop in the mouth. A skin rash with red spots, and sometimes with blisters, may also develop over one or two days on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet and the rash may also appear in other areas.

There is no specific treatment or vaccine for hand, foot, and mouth disease, and frequent hand washing is the best way to prevent it.

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