[MARMAM] CDC can assist in sealpox diagnosis and request for information about recent sealpox virus infections in pinnipeds or humans

Roess, Amira A. (CDC/CCID/NCZVED) hgp5 at cdc.gov
Wed Jul 8 11:30:41 PDT 2009

>  <<MARAM draft_8July09.doc>> 
> June 29, 2009
> Dear MARMAM members:
> We are seeking information on cases of sealpox that have occurred in
> recent years at locations worldwide. Sealpox is a zoonosis which
> principally affects seals and sea lions and is caused by viruses in
> the genus Parapoxviridae.
> Because this virus can also affect humans the Centers for Disease
> Control and Prevention (CDC) is interested in learning about recent
> sealpox virus infections in wildlife or humans.    Additionally, CDC
> laboratories can assist in providing diagnostic evaluation of
> suspected sealpox virus infections in humans or wildlife.
> Sealpox has been identified in many pinniped species (see list below)
> and is most often seen in younger animals.  Infected animals usually
> have 1-3 cm firm skin nodules on head, neck and thorax. Nodules can
> spread to abdomen, flippers, and mucosa or oral cavity, and can be
> solitary or in clusters.  The infected area can be inflamed or
> necrotic.  Lesions usually heal within a few weeks without treatment
> and leave a slightly raised gray scar without fur.
> The sealpox virus is transmittable to humans who have contact with
> infected animals and often presents as lesions on the hands (which is
> sometimes mistaken for 'seal finger') in marine rehabilitation
> workers.  
> Please contact the Poxvirus and Rabies Branch/CDC with questions about
> the infection in humans or information you have on recent sealpox
> infection (mreynolds3 at cdc.gov, aroess at cdc.gov or 404-639-4129).
> Thank you for your interest,
> Amira Roess, PhD, MPH
> aroess at cdc.gov, aroess at gmail.com
> Mary Reynolds, PhD, MPH
> Nzr6 at cdc.gov
> 404-639-5278
> 404-639-4129
> Poxvirus and Rabies Branch 
> Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
> 1600 Clifton Road NE 
> MS G43 
> Atlanta, GA 30333 
> Pinniped species with known sealpox infections:
> -Gray Seals
> -Harbor Seals
> -Northern Fur Seals
> -Northern Elephant Seals
> -California Sea Lion
> -Stellers Sea Lion
> -South America Sea Lion
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