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April 1955

Ecthyma Contagiosum (Orf)

AMA Arch Derm. 1955;71(4):481-485. doi:10.1001/archderm.1955.01540280057013

Ecthyma contagiosum, also known as orf* and ovine pustular dermatitis, is a virus disease of sheep and goats which is occasionally transmitted to man. The purpose of this communication is to (a) report the occurrence of ecthyma contagiosum in an 18-year-old woman; (b) describe the disease as it occurs in man, and (c) consider briefly the salient features of the disorder in animals.


M. L., an 18-year-old white woman, was admitted on the Dermatology Service of the University of Virginia Hospital on May 9, 1953, because of a lesion on the dorsum of the right forearm near the wrist. The patient had scratched the site three weeks previously on a wire fence that constituted a pen for pet lambs. The scratch appeared to be healing in the usual manner, but erythema and slight elevation appeared in it approximately one week after the