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Woman gets rare cowpox infection from her pet cat


A U.K. woman developed a severe eye infection thanks to a rare virus — cowpox, a cousin of smallpox, which she contracted from her pet cat.

The 28-year-old woman went to the emergency room after she experienced eye irritation, along with redness and discharge in her right eye, which had lasted for five days, according to the report, published June 5 in The New England Journal of Medicine. She received a slew of antibiotics and antiviral drugs used to treat common eye infections, but nothing seemed to work. Her symptoms were getting worse — she had developed orbital cellulitis, or an infection of the fat and muscles around the eye; and this infection was causing the tissue in her eye to necrotize, or die. Her doctors worried she would lose her vision.



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