VETS AND PETS : default

Veterinary question? find your answer here:

...or choose another category or pet.

more than 22.000 animal health and medical answers.


Vet Newsfeed

Search our Knowledgebase

Cow pox infection in humans due to pet rats

by May 15 2009

27-02-2009 - Cow pox infection in humans due to pet rats

Twelve patients with skin lesions, five of which were diagnosed as being infected with the cowpox virus, have been notified early 2009 to the French Institute of Disease Surveillance (IVS). The infections were linked to contact with rats bought in one of six pet shops between mid December and mid January. More recent data identified 32 pet shops in France with rats that are carrier of the cow pox virus. Apparently, all rats originate from two batches of animals imported from the Czech Republic. Also in Germany, where 21 cases were notified since December, the link between the recent purchase of a pet rat and the occurrence of cow pox infection was made.

Cowpox is an endemic zoonosis in western Europe, including in France, where small rodents are the main reservoir of the virus. Most rats show respiratory signs and sometimes skin lesions before they die. Infections in humans are rare but not exceptional. No human-tohuman transmission has been observed.

Tags: , , ,   #

Latest articles



About, founded in 2002 by a veterinarian, is based in The Netherlands. Our extensive collection of animal health information is the ever developing end product of an ongoing global review of professional veterinary resources. All content that becomes part of this collection undergoes a stringent editorial review process, producing impartial, balanced and accurate medical information of a high scientific quality. The medically related content for professionals is sourced from a common professional veterinary data base.