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Virus jumps from goats to man

The next time you sacrifice a sheep or a goat during a major religious festival or ritual, make sure that you purchase a healthy animal, free of viral infection.

If possible, get it examined by a veterinary doctor. Health experts, faced with frequent cases of Orf virus, have now called for precautionary measures to prevent the transmission of the disease to humans.

The finest and unblemished animals are generally bought for ritual sacrifice. Today, however, people mostly buy lambs, which are cheaper and more plentiful but also highly susceptible to Orf virus infections.

This change in buying practices has created a large market for possibly infected animals and an associated potential health risk for the butchers, researchers warn.

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