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Year : 1996  |  Volume : 62  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 271-272


Correspondence Address:
M N Das

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 20948086

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How to cite this article:
Das M N, Ghorpade A, Ramanan C, Bhoi S K. Cowpox. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 1996;62:271-2

How to cite this URL:
Das M N, Ghorpade A, Ramanan C, Bhoi S K. Cowpox. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol [serial online] 1996 [cited 2019 Sep 21];62:271-2. Available from: http://www.ijdvl.com/text.asp?1996/62/4/271/4423

  To the Editor, Top

A 20-year-old male from Bhilai presented with asymptomatic, vesicular lesion over right thumb of one week's duration. There was history of milking a cow having ulcerated teats about one week prior to the development of cutaneous lesion. There was no history of fever or malaise. Cutaneous examination showed one vesicular lesion of about 5 mm diameter having central umbilication and surrounding erythematous ring over dorsal aspect of proximal phalanx of right thumb [Figure:l]. There was no regional lymphadenopathy. Biopsy of the lesion revealed massive spongiosis and reticular degeneration at several places in epidermis with marked acute inflammatory dermal infiltrate [Figure - 2].

Cowpox is an occupational viral disease which affects persons who have been in contact with cows having infected teats.[1] However, half of the patients will not have such a history.[2]

Transmission of the virus from cat to man has been described.[3],[4] A small wild rodent may be the reservoir of cowpox virus.[5] The lesions are characteristically found on the exposed skin, mostly on hands.[2] The incubation period varies from 2-14 days. It may affect the milk yield from inflammed teats of the cow.

In our case, the history and clinical features were classical which helped us to exclude other diseases like milker's nodule, orf and anthrax. The diagnosis was confirmed by histopathology. Though cattle population in our country is quite large, cowpox has been very rarely reported in Indian literature. The object of the present report is to create awareness about this condition.

  References Top

1.Arnold HL, Odom RB, James WD. Viral diseases. In : Andrews diseases of skin, clinical dermatology. Philadelphia : W B Saunders, 1990:459.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Baxby D. Is cowpox misnamed? A review of 10 human cases. Br Med J 1977;1:1379-81.  Back to cited text no. 2  [PUBMED]  
3.Pether JVS, Trevains PH, Harrison SRB, et al. Cowpox from cat to man. Lancet 1986.1:38-9.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Willemse A, Egberink HF. Transmission of cowpox virus infection from domestic cat to man. Lancet 1985;i:1515.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Highet AS, Kurtz J. Viral infections. In: Champion RH, Burton JL, Ebling FJG, eds. Textbook of dermatology. Oxford : Blackwell, 1992:873.  Back to cited text no. 5    


[Figure - 1], [Figure - 2]


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