Case of Viral Skin Disease in 45-Year-Old

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Orf

Orf – contagious viral skin disease

Orf is a viral skin disease caused by parapoxvirus. The virus spreads to humans with the handling of infected sheep and goats. It is also known as contagious ecthyma, contagious pustular dermatitis and scabby mouth. This article describes the case of orf in a 45-year-old male patient.

The patient presented to the emergency with a complaint of a 2-week history of an enlarging lesion on his left thumb. The lesion had first appeared as a targetoid and enlarged progressively. However, there were no signs of pain or sensory deficits. The patient’s history revealed that he had come in contact with sheep 3 weeks earlier. His duties included handling meat on a farm. Examination of the lesion showed an edematous and dusky nodule located on the dorsal surface of the left thumb. Further examination showed that the lesion was unroofed.

Doctors advised bacterial, mycobacterial, and fungal cultures of samples from the lesion, the results of which were negative. Since the patient’s history was significant of direct contact with sheep, doctors diagnosed him with orf.

The disease typically progresses from targetoid papule to a boggy nodule.

The disease progresses from a targetoid papule to a boggy nodule. Similarly, subsequently dries out and resolves without the need for treatment other than simple wound care. In this particular case the lesion dried over 3 weeks and became less oedematous. The lesions are generally firm, red or blue in colour, measuring 2 to 5 cm in diameter. Orf lesions are usually small, red, itchy and painful, moreover, usually appear after an incubation period of 3 to 5 days.

At the patient’s 6-month follow-up, the lesion had healed completely with just mild skin sensitivity.

References

Orf https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMicm2029641

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Dr. Aiman Shahab is a dentist with a bachelor’s degree from Dow University of Health Sciences. She is an experienced freelance writer with a demonstrated history of working in the health industry. Skilled in general dentistry, she is currently working as an associate dentist at a private dental clinic in Karachi, freelance content writer and as a part time science instructor with Little Medical School. She has also been an ambassador for PDC in the past from the year 2016 – 2018, and her responsibilities included acting as a representative and volunteer for PDC with an intention to make the dental community of Pakistan more connected and to work for benefiting the underprivileged. When she’s not working, you’ll either find her reading or aimlessly walking around for the sake of exploring. Her future plans include getting a master’s degree in maxillofacial and oral surgery, settled in a metropolitan city of North America.

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