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Open all pages about Orf

Orf is a virus that affects sheep and goats. You can get infected if you have a sore, cut or scratch on your skin that touches an infected animal.

Orf usually causes a small area of skin to change colour. This area then turns into a blister and may leak fluid before crusting over.

The blister caused by orf usually clears up in about 6 weeks without treatment. Cover it with a waterproof dressing to keep it dry and clean.

Things you can do to reduce your risk of getting orf include wearing latex gloves when touching sheep or goats, and covering sores, cuts or scratches.

Orf can cause more serious problems in some people, such as a bacterial infection or a condition called erythema multiforme.

Orf is a skin infection you can get from handling infected sheep or goats. It most commonly affects the fingers, hands, forearms or face.

Page last reviewed: 24/02/2022
Next review due: 24/02/2025