Good Samaritan Gets Necrotic Ulcer After Rescuing Kitten


If a teenage girl sees a kitten in trouble, it’s only natural for her to help. 

One day, a 17-year-old girl in the Netherlands came to a drowning kitten’s rescue. Only the girl didn’t realize the kitten along with its mother and siblings were sick, reports the BMJ Case Reports (1). The kitten died later not long after the rescue. 

On the other hand, several weeks passed by and the girl developed a large wound on her wrist that eventually turned black. She also developed painful bumps on her arm, a fever and a rash that extended all over her body.

This led doctors to suspect cowpox virus, a rare condition transferred through contact with infected cows, cats or rodents. Lab tests confirmed the suspicion, although the girl had already been treated by multiple doctors with medication—to no avail. 

However, cowpox virus is self-limiting, which means your body can take care of the virus on its own. The girl’s symptoms healed after another week, and her wound healed after several months. 

The case report was published in the BMJ Case Reports in 2013.

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  1. Zijlstra, M., Osterhaus, A., & Heidema, J. (2013). A necrotising ulcer after rescuing a kitten. BMJ Case Reports. DOI: