Coxsackie outbreak hits Drew University in NJ with 10 confirmed cases
MADISON — Drew University has confirmed 10 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease on its Morris County campus.
The university has been tracking cases of HFM, also known as the coxsackie, since the weekend when all athletic events were cancelled. No events have been cancelled since Tuesday.
The disease has been spreading through schools across the state, canceling after-school activities.
"To help combat this virus, Drew University continued its increased disinfection of all common areas with special attention to bathrooms, dining areas, fitness equipment and doorknobs. We are ensuring every hand sanitizer dispenser is full. Additionally, the pool was closed to be shocked and disinfected and is now open," the university said in a statement.
The university also encouraged students and staff to wash their hands frequently after using the bathroom, coughing, sneezing or blowing their nose.
Drew is the first New Jersey college to report a case. Games involving Hunterdon Central Regional High School, Pequannock High School, Kinnelon, Mendham, Holmdel and Whippany have been postponed following outbreaks at those respective schools.
Coxsacki, which is most common in infants and young children but can occur in teens and adults, usually develops in three to five days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms include a fever, reduced appetite, sore throat and malaise. Adults, however, may not show any symptoms according to the CDC.
The CDC said it can be spread by close personal contact and through coughing or sneezing.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
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