Journal of Advances in Microbiology Research
2022, Vol. 3, Issue 1, Part A
Human cowpox: A viral zoonosis that poses emerging health threat
Author(s): Mahendra Pal, Rajkumar Singh, Bhupendra C Parmar, Kirubel Paulos Gutama and Adugna Girma Lema
Abstract: Human cowpox, an emerging zoonotic disease, is caused by the virus that belonged to the genus Orthopoxvirus. Human cases of cowpox have been reported in Europe on a sporadic basis, with the majority of cases being linked to the handling of diseased animals, most commonly the rats and cats. Cowpox virus, or at least cowpox, the disease, has long been connected with Edward Jenner and the smallpox 'vaccination,' however, the modern smallpox vaccine is vaccinia virus, which belongs to the same genus, Orthopoxvirus. Despite its name, the cowpox virus is endemic in wild rodents. The cats acquire the infection from small wild rodents, which are thought to be the main reservoir. Domestic cats play a significant role in disease transmission to humans. There is no indication of cowpox transmission from person to person. The infection is primarily transmitted to people through sores on exposed skin, and most often the lesion is localized on the hands or in the face, at the site of primary inoculation. Cowpox can be diagnosed via electron microscopy, virus isolation, or molecular testing. In immunocompetent people, the disease is self-limiting. Serious complications may occur in the immunocompromised patients. There is no specific treatment for this condition. Basic hygiene practices, such as avoiding direct contact with animals with skin lesions and using gloves during cat and rat examinations, as well as thorough hand washing with antiseptic soap or solution after handling the animals, are recommended prevention and control strategies.
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How to cite this article:
Mahendra Pal, Rajkumar Singh, Bhupendra C Parmar, Kirubel Paulos Gutama, Adugna Girma Lema. Human cowpox: A viral zoonosis that poses emerging health threat. J Adv Microbiol Res 2022;3(1):22-26.