KINNELON — At least three Kinnelon school district students have confirmed cases of "hand, foot and mouth" disease — prompting the school to disinfect facilities and cancel soccer and football games. More athletic events may be canceled as well.

In a letter to the school community Wednesday, superintendent Diane DiGiuseppe said that on Tuesday, three Kinnelon High School student athletes were excluded from school because of fever. Because of incidents of hand, foot and mouth disease  — commonly caused by the coxsackie virus — had hit neighboring communities, the school disinfected its locker rooms, gymnasium, fitness center, equipment and the athletic trainer’s room.

Football practices were cancelled as well, and student athletes were directed to go home and disinfect any personal equipment.

Coxsackie — which can cause fever, blisters, sores and rashes — is spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing, or through contact with blister fluid or feces of an infected person. The Centers for Disease Control recommends regular hand-washing, use of disinfectant and avoiding close contact with infected people.

An outbreak in Pequannock caused that town's high school football team to postpone its season opener.

New Jersey 101.5's own meteorologist, Dan Zarrow, came down with hand, foot and mouth disease a few weeks earlier. For him, it caused painful blisters and sores, including in his mouth. He recovered after rest, hydration and treatments to help ease the symptoms.

 

The Kinnelon School District said it learned Wednesday of two confirmed cases of the disease at the high school, and another at the district's middle school. Football practices, team pictures, and Saturday's varsity football and Monday's junior varsity football games are being rescheduled.

The district said it also postponed boys and girls soccer games against Whippany Park High School originally set for Thursday, and will contact other schools to determine if more sports postponements are needed

"It is vital that any student exhibiting symptoms of HFMD see their doctor for the best course of treatment," the Kinnelon district wrote.

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