Cat Scratch Fever
Cat, scratch, fever, infection, bacteria, disease, bite, flea, feline, headache, immune, achiness, decreased appitite
Cat Scratch Fever
Cat scratch fever is a bacterial disease caused by bartonella henselae. As the name implies, a person can contract this ailment from cat scratches but also from cat bites and possibly even flea bites.
It is estimated that approximately 40% of all cats in the United States will be carriers of this bacteria at some point in their lives. It's frustrating because you can't even tell if a cat is infected just by looking at it. The organism doesn't cause illness in felines.
If you've owned cats for years and have a healthy immune system, most likely you have already contracted this disease and recovered without medical attention or complications. For the majority of cat owners, the signs of cat scratch fever are vague. You may experience fever, headaches, achiness and a decreased appetite.
The real concern surrounding this disease is for people with compromised immune systems. Persons undergoing chemotherapy, organ transplants, or those afflicted with HIV and aids are more prone to developing a more serious form of this disease.
If you've been bitten or scratched by a cat and you notice the area looks infected, the lymph nodes in the area are swollen and you have any of the signs I previously mentioned, see your physician immediately. Don't risk your health.
How can you protect yourself from contracting cat scratch fever?
1. Wash any cat bites and scratches thoroughly with soap and water.
2. Don’t let cats lick open wounds on your body.
3. Control fleas.
4. Avoid rough housing with cats, especially kittens.
Have more questions about cat scratch fever? Just ask your veterinarian.
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