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Students infected with hand, foot, and mouth disease on campus

Eleven cases of hand, foot and mouth disease have been reported in the CSU student body since the start of the semester according to Anne Hudgens, executive director of the the CSU Health Network.

The first case on campus was reported Aug. 27, and the most recent was reported to the health network Sept. 18.

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The disease can be contracted through interaction with any infected persons, according to the CSU Health Network. This includes close personal contact, coughing or sneezing, contact with feces, and contact with contaminated objects or surfaces.

“The best protection is similar to the precautions you should take against the flu or other viruses,” Hudgens said. “Wash your hands often, don’t share toothbrushes, straws or other similar items with others, and clean up your space with a good disinfectant.”

The campus has taken steps to prevent the spread of the disease, including throughly cleaning “touch points” such as door handles, Hudgens said. “Touch points” are any location encountered by potentially infected students.

Additionally, Environmental Health Services were notified of the need for the residence halls to be cleaned extremely well, Hudgens said.

The disease is known for causing painful sores on the hands, feet, mouth, face or other areas of the body, according to the CSU Health Network.

When the mouth is infected it can make it difficult to talk, eat or drink, and could result in dehydration. The sores on the hands and feet can make tasks such as writing, walking and typing painful for those infected.

The University has worked with infected students and their professors to assure that they receive proper accommodations, such as not attending class, Hudgens said.

If the disease worsens, there could be neurological and heart problems, but these cases are extremely rare, according to the CSU Health Network.

Early signs of the disease include fever, reduced appetite, sore throat and a feeling of being unwell, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. A few days after the fever, painful sores can develop in the mouth, most frequently in the back of the mouth as small red spots that blister.

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Their is no treatment for the disease other than staying hydrated and taking over-the-counter pain relievers, according to the CSU Health Network. The cases usually last about a week long.

For those infected, the CSU Health Network suggests washing your hands with warm water and soap, refraining from sharing utensils of any kind, wearing shower shoes, avoiding pools and hot tubs, and using disinfectant cleaner. The Health Network also suggested staying at home until the sores are healed.

The CSU Health Network urges those who believe they may be infected to contact their health provider or the CSU Health Network at 970-491-7121.

Collegian reporter Logan Crizer can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @logloc19.

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