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Cowpox virus: Old friend but new foe
Date:9/14/2011

espite its name, cowpox no longer occurs in cows but wild mice and voles represent a source of infection: Nowotny cites a recent study in Austria that revealed that "about 1 in 6 mice carries the cowpox virus. As a result, the virus can be transmitted to domestic cats (at least, to those that hunt mice) and we and others have shown that it can then be passed on to humansii" and the decades since the cessation of vaccination have witnessed a significant rise in the incidence in humans. The majority of cases stem from Great Britain (a nation of dog-lovers, perhaps, although cats are also popular pets) with the remainder restricted to Europe, apart from a single case in Israel. The disease is unpleasant but not generally fatal, except in immunocompromised patients. As Nowotny says, "diagnosis of cowpox is relatively straightforward in humans as well as in animals but it is important that doctors and vets consider the possibility when they see patients with lesions."


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Contact: Beate Zoechmeister
beate.zoechmeister@vetmeduni.ac.at
University of Veterinary Medicine -- Vienna
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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