Cowpox is a viral disease that is caused by contact with an animal that is carrying the cowpox virus. It is usually carried by cows, horses and mice and is transferred to humans when they touch them. Catching this disease causes the appearance of spots, blisters and rashes often accompanied by pus on the infected person’s skin. Other symptoms include fever, loss of appetite, swelling of lymph nodes, shivering, pain and itching on the area that has been infected by the disease. Cowpox is quite similar to chickenpox and smallpox except that the reason for its occurrence is different. It is also rarer than chickenpox and smallpox.
Cowpox is among those diseases that helped in creating vaccines and diagnosing other diseases like smallpox in 1979. The vaccinia virus that causes this disease, also cause smallpox and aided in its treatment in the 20th century. It was discovered in the 18th century and its usage as a treatment for smallpox started in 1791. It is like chickenpox only caught once in a person’s life. This disease nowadays is very common in Europe especially in UK. Here, it appears through direct contact with cats, mice and voles instead of the cow. The blisters appear at the point of contact and are further transmitted to other human beings, through touching. It mostly occurs in summer and fall seasons.
In order to diagnose this ailment, the doctors ask a number of questions from the patient. These will include; the symptoms of the disease, his and family’s medical history and background, his contact with animals and any treatment or medicines that he is currently taking for this disease. He will also go through a physical examination of the infected skin. There are no specific treatments for this virus. Only medications are provided for relief from the symptoms while the body fights cowpox. The victim is advised to go on a bed rest and if the condition is worse, he should be hospitalized. Mostly, antiviral medicines and antibiotics are not given to the patient. Bandages can be applied to protect the transfer of disease. In severe cases antivaccinia gamma globulin can be provided. The wounds caused by lesions can be dressed through bandages. It is always recommended to visit a viral disease specialist or a dermatologist who can diagnose and treat this disease well. Moreover, medicines can be given to control symptoms like flu and fever. Wound care is done to prevent the spread of bacteria and transfer of disease to other people around.
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Thus, cowpox, which was initially used to diagnose and treat the smallpox, has now itself become a major disease. The person having this disease is restless and lethargic. He loses his appetite and becomes a victim to fever, flu and chill, worsening his condition more. The most pathetic part is the itching and uneasiness that he experiences through the blisters and rashes that appear on his skin. The presence of pus is also very painful. The areas affected even ache a lot in this case.