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Hand, foot, and mouth virus infecting FSU students

September 15th, 2016 by Mike Vasilinda

A rare outbreak of the hand, foot, and mouth virus has infected nearly two dozen students at Florida State University this week. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, the outbreak which is usually reserved for day care centers, is thought to be hurricane related.

Students first started showing up with the unusual disease at the FSU wellness center on Monday. FSU Health Services Director Lesley Sacher said her staff knew the symptoms were unusual right away.

“Blisters on hands and some students who had blisters on their feet. We normally see this in day care centers” says the veteran health care administrator.

After Tuesday brought new cases, the University cancelled Fraternity and Sorority Rush events scheduled that night. Justin Butler is a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity.

“I don’t know if they expected it to be gone overnight. Activities resumed last night and Rush is back and better than ever, I guess.”

The vast majority of students, we talked to, including Ayesha Wilkinson,   were aware of the virus and what to do.

“It’s kinda contagious, really contagious. that’s all I know.”

Q: And they told you to wash your hands? What have thy told you?


“Once it’s sprayed you can wipe it” demonstrated Marcus Anderson at the heath center.

The best advice is to clean, clean, clean with a bleach solution diluted nine to one with water.

There were no new cases Wednesday, but Thursday did bring another case.

“It’s nothing that is life threatening” said the heath director.

The University has asked if the outbreak could be in any way related to a sewage spill that took place while hurricane Hermine was hitting the State Capitol. they have not gotten a definitive answer.

Even if sewage wasn’t the culprit, the University health director says Hurricane Hermine probably was.

‘We expect it to spike again a little bit. We think the hurricane and no electricity led to this in terms of humid hot conditions, can’t do your laundry.” says Sacher.

There is no cure for Hand, foot, and mouth disease except time, which is between five and seven days.

Signs and symptoms usually begin within three to six days after exposure and it typically begins with a fever. The University is working with students who are missing classes because of the virus.

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