BALTIMORE (WJZ) — At least 129 cases of hand, foot, mouth disease have been reported on Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood campus since September, according to a university official.

The Maryland Department of Health now is classifying the situation as an outbreak, the HUB reports.

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The outbreak may be slowing though, as only four new cases were reported last week.

The university has taken steps to help prevent the spread, according to a university spokesman, including broadcasting messages, distributing pamphlets and fliers and through social media.

The facilities are also doing extra cleanings in infected area like residents halls and they are distributing disinfectant wipes.

According to the CDC, hand, foot, mouth disease is a contagious virus. It’s common for infants and children younger than 5, but older children and adults can contract it.

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People recover in 7 to 10 days, the CDC reports, and people are contagious their first week with the illness.

The CDC says the virus can be spread through a number of bodily fluids:

  • Nose and throat secretions (such as saliva, sputum, or nasal mucus)
  • Blister fluid
  • Poop (feces)

HFMD spreads from an infected person to others from:

  • Close contact, such as kissing, hugging, or sharing cups and eating utensils
  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Contact with poop, for example when changing a diaper
  • Contact with blister fluid
  • Touching objects or surfaces that have the virus on them

Here are some ways to decrease your chances of getting sick, according to the CDC:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers, and help young children do the same.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact such as kissing, hugging, and sharing cups and eating utensils with people who have HFMD.
  • Avoid close contact such as kissing, hugging, and sharing cups and eating utensils with people who have HFMD.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.

More information can be found here. 

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