A farmer from São José dos Quatro Marcos, Mato Grosso, Brazil is the first case of cowpox in a person confirmed this year, according to Office of Agricultural Defense of Mato Grosso in a Globo.com report this week (computer translated).
Three of animals on the farm are also infected with the virus. An Animal Disease Control representative for the state noted that the property was closed and milk production was suspended. In addition, some 70 neighboring properties were inspected and no other cowpox cases were discovered.
According to the Global Infectious Disease and Epidemiology Network (GIDEON), cowpox is endemic in Brazil with few human cases reported each year.
According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, cowpox is a mild, eruptive disease of dairy cows, lesions are seen on the udder and teats. Although once common, cowpox is now extremely rare and reported primarily in western Europe. The virus of cowpox is closely related antigenically to vaccinia and smallpox viruses. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page
The disease spreads by contact during milking. After an incubation period of 3–7 days, during which cows may be mildly febrile, papules appear on the teats and udder. Vesicles may not be evident or may rupture readily, leaving raw, ulcerated areas that form scabs. Lesions heal within 1 mo. Most cows in a milking herd may become affected. Milkers may develop fever and have lesions on the hands, arms, or face. Occasionally, cowpox in people can cause generalized disease, and fatalities have been recorded.