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Orf (Contagious Ecthyma)

Return to Other Wildlife Diseases



Commonly infected wildlife

Bighorn Sheep



Is this animal infected?

  • Infected animals have obvious single or multiple crusty lumps, usually on their lips
  • Young animals are more likely to be affected and may have difficulty nursing
  • Lesions can also occur on:
    • Face
    • Udder
    • Inside mouth
    • Above hooves


Can I get it?


  • By contacting affected skin, especially if you have cuts on your skin

How bad can it get?

May require medical attention and treatment

Protect myself and others

  • Wear disposable gloves
  • Practice good hygiene
    • Wash your hands
    • Wash your clothes
  • Trim away affected tissue
  • Avoid contact between affected tissue and edible meat

Wear Gloves

Wash Hands


Symptoms in humans

  • Red skin lesion(s) on hands, arms or face
  • Swollen, painful lymph nodes
  • Mild fever
  • Consult with your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment
  • Skin lesions usually go away within six weeks without scarring

Safe for pets?

Safe for pets



What causes it?

  • A parapox virus that infects both wild and domestic sheep and goats