A British woman developed a severe eye infection due to a rare virus — cowpox, cousin smallpox, She contracted from a pet cat.
A 28-year-old woman went to the emergency room after experiencing eye irritation, with redness and secretions in her right eye that lasted for five days, according to a report released on June 5. New England Journal of Medicine.. She received a lot of antibiotics and antivirals used to treat common eye infections, but nothing seemed to work. Her symptoms were getting worse — she had developed orbital cell inflammation, or an infection of the fat and muscle around her eyes. And the infection was either necrotic or fatal to the tissues of her eyes. Her doctor was worried that she might lose her eyesight.
“Our concern was that the infection could permanently impair her eyesight or spread beyond orbit. [eye socket]”. Dr. Miles Keelnan, an ophthalmologist at the Royal Free Hospital in London, who treated the patient, said.
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The patient’s illness clues came from her pet cat. The report states that the patient reported that the cat had lesions on the paws and head two weeks ago.
Both cat lesions and samples from female eyes were tested positive Orthopox virus — Smallpox virus (variola virus), cowpox virus, and Monkeypox virus.. Further sequencing of the female sample confirmed that she was infected with cowpox.
Cowpox can infect multiple animal species, including cattle, cats, and humans. It is closely related to the vaccinia virus used in smallpox vaccines. (Doctor Edward Jenner is famous for using cowpox in 1796 to create the world’s first vaccine against smallpox after dairy farmers with cowpox realized they were immune to smallpox. Today, cowpox is rare in cattle and the main reservoir is rodents, According to the Merck Veterinary Manual.. Cats can be infected by killing rodents with cowpox, but cat-to-human transmission is rare, Kielnan told Live Science.
Humans can be infected with cowpox by contacting cowpox lesions on the skin of cats, but the virus is not very contagious between humans and cats, such as wearing gloves when handling infected cases. Hygiene measures can significantly reduce the risk of infection.by VCA Animal Hospital.. According to Merck, the virus has not been detected in US cats.
Doctors suspect that a woman’s eyes have become infected when she touches or rubs her eyes after stroking the cat.
Kiernan added that he and his colleagues have never seen cases of cowpox infection and have few cases reported in the medical literature.
However, he said these reported cases were difficult to treat. In the current case, Kiernan et al. Received feedback from key biologists and infectious disease specialists in the hospital. They recommended treatment with tecovirimat (TPOXX), an antiviral drug that targets the orthopox virus. Approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of smallpox In 2018.
There was one problem. Since tecovirimat is not available in the United Kingdom, Kiernan et al. Had to obtain it from the US strategic national stockpile, which contained approximately 2 million tecovirimats in the event of a smallpox bioterrorism attack. (Smallpox was eradicated from the world in 1980 thanks to a global vaccination campaign, but the government is concerned that the smallpox virus could be used as a biological weapon, Previously reported live science.. )
According to the report, the patient underwent a long course of tecovirimat and needed surgery to remove dead tissue from around the eyes. Treatment worked to get rid of her infection. Six months later, the patient reportedly had 20/20 visual acuity in his right eye, but his upper eyelids fell slightly and he had problems with eye movements.
This case highlights zoonotic diseases, or the risk of jumping from animal to human. Such spillover events are drawing attention in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is likely to be due to wildlife.
Smallpox was eradicated, but “orthopoxvirus remained in certain parts of the world, such as cowpox in Europe and monkeypox in Central and West Africa,” Kielnan said. Indeed, just this week, two human cases of monkeypox were reported in the United Kingdom. According to the BBC..
“I think human cowpox cases remain rare, but now that the population is immunologically naive, I think we could see more cases in the future,” Kielnan said. , Mentioned the fact that people no longer receive regular vaccination against smallpox. A vaccine that may have provided some protection against other orthopox viruses.
Originally published in Live Science.
Women get a rare cowpox infection from their pet cat
Source link Women get a rare cowpox infection from their pet cat