Orf is an infectious disease caused by an epitheliotrophic double stranded deoxyribonucleic acid parapoxvirus which primarily affects sheep and goats but humans can also be infected by contact with infected animals. In Muslim countries, especially after the Feast of Sacrifice, the incidence of human orf increases. Although orf infection is benign and self limiting, it can interfere with work and result in repetitive visits to the emergency. Also recently, complications including erythema multiforme (EM) and bullous pemphigoid like eruptions, papulovesicular eruptions, epidermolysis bullosa acquisita have been reported with orf. Awareness of orf infection and related possible hypersensitivity reactions by the physicians, can reduce the unnecessary use of antibiotics and visits to the emergency.
Key words: Orf, erythema multiforme, parapoxvirus