DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Duke University said Friday that an outbreak of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease appears to be on the decline.
The outbreak happened during a four-week period from mid-September to mid-October, according to a university spokesman. During that period, 60 students were diagnosed with the disease at the Duke Student Health Center.
There has been only one additional case reported this week, the spokesman said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the disease is not serious and usually clears up in seven to 10 days with little to no medical treatment.
However, it is a highly contagious disease. Spread can be made from person-to-person contact, droplets made when a person who is sick with HFMD sneezes, coughs, or talks, and contact with contaminated surfaces and objects.
Complications include dehydration, finger and toe nail loss, viral meningitis, and encephalitis, the last of which is extremely rare, the CDC said.
Symptoms include fever, mouth sores, and skin rash. The rash is commonly found on the hands and feet.
Washing hands, avoiding contact with those who have the disease, and not touching eyes, mouth, and nose are the best ways to prevent catching it, the CDC said.
For treatment, take over-the-counter medications to relieve fever and pain caused by mouth sores. These medications can include acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If a child has HFM disease, do not give them aspirin. Also, be sure to drink plenty of liquids to keep hydrated.