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Cat Scratch Fever. Read all about this relatively uncommon disease. Information on Cat Scratch Fever, the symptoms, prevention, and Cat Scratch Fever pictures.
CAT SCRATCH FEVER
Most cat-scratch disease begins with a scratch from the claw or tooth
of a kitten younger than six months of age. It can also be caught
from an adult cat.
An infectious illness, cat-scratch fever can affect people of all ages
but is most common in children between the ages of five and 14.
disease, which usually develops as a result of a cat scratch, can
cause lymph-node swellings, low-grade fever and other troublesome
symptoms but is not overly serious.
The disease is usually
self-limiting, and resolves in two to three months.
Cats themselves are not affected by the illness,
but they serve as carriers capable of passing the illness to humans
through scratches or bites.
The actual organism that causes the
fever is difficult to grow in the laboratory, but it is a bacterium.
The bacterium has not been conclusively identified, but it may be
one with the unusual name Rochalimea.
The illness is sometimes
associated with a new pet, often a kitten less than six months old.
Several members of a household may be affected at the same time.
Swollen lymph nodes in the armpit, neck, groin or elsewhere
Loss of appetite
Evidence of a cat scratch, which may be a reddened welt
common symptom is a swollen lymph node, usually in the armpit or
neck. Fever and other mild symptoms
are present in 30 percent of cases.
Cat Scratch Disease (CSD) is also called Cat Scratch Fever and benign
lymphoreticulosis. While CSD is found all over the world, it is an
Is Medical Attention Necessary?
A doctor should probably investigate
any persistent fever and lymph-node swelling.
Blood tests as well as
a tuberculin skin test may be ordered to rule out the presence of
What Treatments are Available?
Sometimes an antibiotic (gentamycin) is
prescribed to shorten the course of the illness.
It's possible that the lymph nodes will abscess and ooze
pus. If that happens, the doctor may determine that drainage or
removal of the nodes is necessary.
Lymph node removal also may be
necessary for diagnostic purposes.
Generally, a period
of rest is all that is needed.
Preventing Cat-Scratch Fever
Wash scratches or bites promptly with soap and water.
Go to see your doctor if any signs and symptoms of cat-scratch fever develop.
Although it is
usually relatively harmless, it may lead (rarely) to complications
of the central nervous system.
Also, an illness that resembles
cat-scratch fever might be another, more serious, animal-borne
illness that has similar symptoms in its early stages.
Diagnosis of CSD may not be easy. There is no simple diagnostic
Most physicians rely on history of exposure to a cat , the
presence of typical clinical signs, failure to find another cause,
and examination of tissues, such as biopsy of a swollen lymph node.