Parapoxviruses Follow-up

Updated: Apr 16, 2018
  • Author: Luke Bloomquist, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Instruct patients with close direct contact with sheep, goats, or cattle to use proper hand hygiene and personal protective equipment (ie, protective gloves) to decrease the risk of infection. This is especially crucial when in contact with herds during an infection outbreak of any of these parapoxviruses or following vaccination with the live attenuated orf virus vaccine. [21]

Several common disinfectants effectively reduce the numbers of orf virus particles present on surfaces, and their use may help to prevent spread of the disease during outbreaks. [29, 30] In addition, infected animals should be isolated from the rest of the herd.

Immunocompromised individuals should avoid contact with infected animals.

Parental education may be useful in the prevention of zoonotic infections among pediatric patients. [16]



The following complications of parapoxvirus infection in humans may occur:

  • Pain

  • Fever

  • Lymphangitis

  • Lymphadenopathy

  • Secondary bacterial infection

  • Progressive enlargement or dissemination of lesions (primarily in immunosuppressed patients)

  • Hyperglycemia in diabetic patients [16]

  • Erythema multiforme (a number of case reports) [31, 32]

  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, immunobullous disorders, [33, 34] and Gianotti-Crosti syndrome [35] (only rare case reports)

  • Blindness following ocular infection (one case report) [15]

No reports exist of human death caused by parapoxvirus infections.



Healing over time and without scarring is the rule in almost every case.