More than 50 Dartmouth College students have been admitted to Dick’s House, or Dartmouth’s Health Service with the viral infection, hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD), according to the student newspaper.

Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) Image/shawn c
Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD)
Image/shawn c

The Dartmouth College Health Service states on their webpageHand Foot and Mouth disease is circulating in the Upper Valley and links to the CDC HFMD site.

At least one student was admitted to the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, although the student was released soon after admittance.

HFMD is typically a benign and self-limiting disease. Most common in young children, it presents as fever, oral lesions and rash on the hands, feet and buttocks. The oral lesions consist of rapidly-ulcerating vesicles on the buccal mucosa, tongue, palate and gums. The rash consists of papulovesicular lesions on the palms, fingers and soles, which generally persist for seven to 10 days, and maculopapular lesions on the buttocks.

It is spread to others by close personal contact, coughing or sneezing or by contact with contaminated objects and surfaces. It can be difficult to eradicate in schools, group living communities and daycares. Although it is not serious for most people, the infection can cause significant pain while eating, walking and writing.

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Hand, foot, and mouth disease is caused by viruses that belong to the Enterovirus genus (group). This group of viruses includes polioviruses, coxsackieviruses, echoviruses, and enteroviruses. Coxsackievirus is the most common cause of HFMD.

The school and affected fraternities are taking measures to prevent the virus from spreading.