Hand, foot and mouth disease is breaking out on numerous campuses, leaving students frustrated and campus officials struggling to contain the spread.

Hundreds of students are falling ill with hand, foot and mouth disease at colleges in the East.

The contagious viral infection spreads quickly and causes fever, sore throat and a rash on the mouth, hands and feet — hence the name. Campuswide illness outbreaks are not uncommon — in years past norovirus and mumps have plagued colleges — but hand, foot and mouth is especially surprising given that it’s typically found in children who are under the age of 5.

“When you have populations that are in really close contact — like college campuses or military bases — it can spread easily,” said Mark Reed, director of the Dartmouth College Health Service. Dartmouth, in New Hampshire, confirmed 50 cases this quarter, and Reed expects at least a few more.


Credit: iStock, Manjurul

Credit: iStock, Manjurul

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