New Jersey schools coping with hand, foot and mouth disease

The Pequannock Panthers started their season a week later than expected after a nasty outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease -- commonly known as coxsackie virus -- that has been spreading across northern New Jersey.

The virus, which causes a painful rash, fever or sore throat, has thrown this year's football season into a tailspin. It has prompted the cancelation of games and after-school events at a number of high schools including Pequannock, High Point West Milford and Kinnelon, which just reported 8 cases.

That is why schools are working overtime to contain the outbreak by disinfecting hallways, equipment, cafeterias, and buses. Schools are warning kids who start to feel sick to see a doctor immediately.

The Ramsey Rams have no reported cases of coxsackie virus. So they want to keep it that way.

Possible cases of the virus have been reported at a half-dozen high schools in New Jersey. But the state's Health Department says that is not worth panicking over because outbreaks this time of year are common. In fact last year, there were six and the year before that 23.