13 Princeton Students Have Weird Infectious Disease

Don't touch anything with your hands, feet or mouth if you're there.

Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

Princeton University made national headlines a while back for cases of bacterial meningitis on campus; one Drexel student, Stephanie Ross, died after attending a mixer at her school with several dozen Princeton football players. In one year, from March of 2013 to March of 2014, nine cases of a single strain of the disease were tied to the school. Emergency guidelines issued to students and faculty warned:

Bacterial meningitis is contagious, but generally is transmitted through direct exchange of respiratory and throat secretions by close personal contact, such as sharing drinks, kissing, sharing smoking materials, etc.

It seems our Jersey Ivy Leaguers have brief attention spans, as the campus is at present being ravaged by a different bug.

Thirteen cases of the viral illness known as hand, foot and mouth disease have been recorded among students. If you’ve got young kids, you may be familiar with the symptoms of the virus, which usually strikes children under age five and causes fever, sore throat, sores inside the mouth, and blisters on the hands and feet. (It’s caused by a coxsackievirus, if you were wondering.)

Hand, foot and mouth isn’t nearly as deadly as meningitis, and it’s not even as easily communicated as the common cold. According to the Mayo Clinic, “The illness spreads by person-to-person contact with an infected person’s nasal secretions or throat discharge, saliva, fluid from blisters, stool, or respiratory droplets sprayed into the air after a cough or sneeze.” Blech. According to university health educator Kathy Wagner, “The cause of the rise in cases at Princeton is unknown.” You do you, Princeton kids, but we’re just saying: Maybe you should stick to sharing notes.