Cat scratch disease (CSD) is a bacterial illness that cats spread. When an infected cat licks an open wound or bites or scratches a human hard enough to break the skin’s surface, the illness spreads. A slight infection at the location of the scratch or bite might arise three to fourteen days after the skin is damaged. Infected areas may be swollen and red, with circular, elevated sores and pus.

A person suffering from CSD may also have a fever, headache, loss of appetite, and tiredness. Lymph nodes surrounding the original scratch or bite may become swollen, sensitive, or painful later on.

With soap and running water, thoroughly clean cat bites and scratches. Cats should not be allowed to lick your wounds. If you acquire any signs of cat scratch illness or infection, see your doctor.

The bacteria Bartonella henselae causes CSD. Although up to 30% of cats have B. henselae in their blood, the majority of cats with this infection show no indications of sickness. Kittens under the age of one year are more prone to be infected with B. henselae and to deliver the virus to humans. Kittens are also more prone to scratching and biting while playing and learning how to attack prey.

Serious but rare complications

People

Although it is uncommon, CSD can lead to major consequences. CSD can have an impact on the brain, vision, heart, and other internal organs. These uncommon problems, which may need intense treatment, are more likely to occur in children aged 5 to 14 and in persons with weakened immune systems.

Cats

Most cats infected with B. henselae exhibit no indications of sickness, but on rare instances, this disease can induce cardiac inflammation, making cats very unwell and causing laboured breathing. Infection with B. henselae can also occur in the mouth, urinary system, or eyes. Some of your cat’s other organs may be inflamed, according to your veterinarian.

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