Orf is a zoonotic skin disease which is commonly self-diagnosed by those who tend sheep and goats. This paper reports the prevalence, incidence and risk factors associated with the infection in a cohort of farmworkers from three areas of England, derived from the results of self-reporting and serology. Twentythree per cent of those employed or living on a sheep farm reported ever having had orf, and the antibody serological profiles indicated a prevalence of 4 per cent and an annual incidence of 2-8 per cent. The main risk factors associated with the infection were contact with sheep, the size of the sheep flock, and contact with dogs.
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