One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of a class of very small viruses chiefly affecting animals, especially one (canine parvovirus) which causes contagious disease in dogs.
- ‘Puppies should be vaccinated against distemper, infectious hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus, parainfluenza and rabies.’
- ‘Effective vaccines exist for a number of animal parvoviruses.’
- ‘Owing to narrow tissue or species specificity of parvoviruses, animal parvoviruses do not infect humans.’
- ‘When parvovirus appeared in the late 1970s Max said vets were initially baffled.’
- ‘If these wild dogs don't die of sheer starvation, he said, diseases such as parvovirus, heartworm, or intestinal parasites usually kill them.’
1960s: from Latin parvus ‘small’ + virus.
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