Health Update: Changing spots

Cowpox among humans may be on the increase, though now it is more often caught from cats, and possibly rodents, than cows, according to a report in The Lancet. In the past, an attack of cowpox usually conferred immunity from smallpox because the viruses responsible for the two diseases were similar; but now that smallpox has been eradicated and the vaccine discontinued, rising numbers of human cowpox cases are being reported.