cowpox(redirected from Catpox)
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a mild pustular eruption affecting milk cows, usually confined to the udder and teats, caused by the vaccinia virus, and transmissible to humans. Edward Jenner, in the 18th century, discovered that cowpox could be transmitted to humans who milked or tended cattle, and also noted that persons who contracted it in this way seldom contracted smallpox. This discovery led to vaccination against smallpox.
A mild contagious skin disease of cattle, usually affecting the udder, that is caused by a virus and characterized by the eruption of a pustular rash. When the virus is transmitted to humans, as by vaccination, it can confer immunity to smallpox. Also called vaccinia.