A 24 Hour Fitness club in Southern California is the site of an alleged outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease.
The scope of the alleged outbreak at the 24 Hour Fitness on Via Princessa in Santa Clarita is unknown. A spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said there has been "no word of this [disease] occurring" at any fitness club or any other facility in the area, according to a Santa Clarita Valley Signal report published Tuesday. That story noted that state law does not require hand, foot, and mouth disease to be reported.
One of the club's former members, Shayna Richards, claimed five children and one parent were affected by the virus, according to a KTLA report that was broadcast on Monday. Richards claimed two of the club's employees told her of the virus' contraction, and one employee was uncomfortable with how the situation was handled by management.
One former member learned about alleged unsanitary conditions from an employee in the Kid's Club child care area and was later told by management that a "deep cleaning" was done, according to a KHTS report published Monday, citing an anonymous source. 24 Hour Fitness did not respond to the allegations raised in the KHTS report in a statement the company provided to Club Industry for this story.
"The health and safety of members and their children is of the utmost importance at 24 Hour Fitness," 24 Hour Fitness said in the statement. "We work to ensure that all of our club locations are in compliance with local health and safety regulations. Our team members consistently strive to maintain club cleanliness standards. We also conduct thorough cleanings of our clubs throughout the day."
Hand, foot and mouth disease usually affects infants and children younger than five years old but can affect adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Signs of the disease include fever, reduced appetite, sore throat, sores inside the mouth and skin rash.
There is no vaccine to protect against the viruses that cause the disease, and there is no specific treatment, according to the CDC. People can lower their risk of infection by washing their hands often with soap and water, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, and avoiding close contact with people who have the disease, according to the CDC.