The key difference between cowpox and chickenpox is that cowpox is an infectious disease caused by the cowpox virus (CPXV), while chickenpox is an infectious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus.
There are different viral infections, such as measles, roseola, German measles, cowpox, chickenpox, erythema infectiosum, papular purpuric, gloves and socks syndrome, infectious mononucleosis, and enterovirus infections, which can cause widespread exanthems or rashes. Cowpox and chickenpox are two infectious diseases caused by different viruses. Both these diseases can result in blisters on the skin after the infection. However, cowpox mainly affects animals such as cows and cats. Cowpox can rarely spread to humans through infected animals, but chicken pox is predominantly a human disease.
What is Cowpox?
Cowpox is caused by cowpox or catpox virus. This virus is a member of the Orthopoxvirus family, which also includes the variola virus, which causes smallpox. Cowpox is a very rare disease. It is mostly seen in Great Britain and European countries. This disease can be mainly seen in cows, woodland rodents, and domestic cats. Human cases of cowpox are very rare. It is most often contracted through the scratch or bite of domestic cats.
Most cases of human cowpox occur in young people. This is because younger people have closer contact with animals such as cats. The signs and symptoms of cowpox in animals such as cows may include fever and papules appearing on teats and udder. In humans, it appears as one or a small number of pus-like lesions on the hands and face, lesions that later ulcerate and form a black scab before healing on their own, fever, tiredness, vomiting, sore throat, conjunctivitis, periorbital swelling, corneal damages, and enlarged painful local lymph nodes.
Cowpox can be diagnosed through physical examination, blood tests, and culturing tests. Furthermore, there is no cure for cowpox, but the disease is self-limiting. However, vaccination against smallpox may confer some protection against cowpox in humans.
What is Chickenpox?
Chickenpox is a virus illness caused by the varicella-zoster virus. The rash caused by this disease appears 10 to 21 days after people are exposed to the varicella-zoster virus. Chickenpox is mainly seen in children and younger people. Chickenpox can be observed in other primates as well, including chimpanzees and gorillas. Moreover, signs and symptoms of this condition may include raised bumps called papules on the skin, small fluid-filled blisters called vesicles on the skin, crusts and scabs on the skin, fever, loss of appetite, headache, tiredness, and a general feeling of being unwell. The complications resulting from this condition include infected skin, soft tissues, bones, joints, or bloodstream, dehydration, pneumonia, swelling of the brain, toxic shock syndrome, and Reye’s syndrome.
Chickenpox can be diagnosed through physical examination, blood test, and a tissue study of samples of affected skin. Furthermore, treatment options for chickenpox may include medicine such as an antihistamine to calm itching, antiviral medicine such as acyclovir (Zovirax, Sitavig), valacyclovir (Valtrex), and famciclovir to fight the virus, antibiotics for complications such as infected skin and pneumonia, and vaccine (varivax).
What are the Similarities Between Cowpox and Chickenpox?
- Cowpox and chickenpox are two infectious diseases caused by different viruses.
- These diseases can cause blisters on the skin after the infection.
- Both these diseases can be seen in humans as well as other animals.
- They can be diagnosed through a physical examination.
- They can be treated through medications and vaccines.
What is the Difference Between Cowpox and Chickenpox?
Cowpox is an infectious disease caused by the cowpox virus (CPXV), while chickenpox is an infectious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Thus, this is the key difference between cowpox and chickenpox. Furthermore, cowpox mainly affects cows, woodland rodents, and cats. On the other hand, chicken pox mainly affects humans (children and young people).
The infographic below presents the differences between cowpox and chickenpox in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Cowpox vs. Chickenpox
Cowpox and chickenpox are two infectious diseases caused by different viruses. Cowpox mainly affects cows, woodland rodents, and cats. But it can be seen rarely in humans who handle infected animals. On the other hand, chicken pox mainly affects humans (children and young people). Chickenpox has been rarely reported in other primates, such as chimpanzees and gorillas. Moreover, cowpox is a viral illness caused by the cowpox virus (CPXV), while chickenpox is a viral illness caused by the varicella-zoster virus. So, this summarizes the difference between cowpox and chickenpox.