Contagious Ecthyma or Orf


Cause: Parapoxvirus

Occurrence in Animals: Primarily young small ruminants

Exposure: Skin vesicles and scabs


    • Vesicles and scabs around the mouth, lips, and nostrils of lambs, or on the udder and teats of milking females
    • Skin blisters, pustules and scabs
    • Usually resolve on their own
    • Secondary bacterial infection can occur


  • Good personal hygiene:
    • WASH HANDS after handling animals
    • No eating, drinking, smoking, etc. around animals and their environment
  • Wear gloves when handling sheep or their contaminated environment
  • Virus is very resistant to disinfectants and drying and can persist in the environment for a long time
  • Barn clothes and boots can carry microorganisms to other areas

Additional information about rabies can be found at:

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