Cat Scratch Fever

Don’t let the name fool you! This is actually a condition that occurs within people – but is caused by cats. This infection – also known as Bartonella henslae – is caused by a bacteria that is in a cat’s saliva. Not all cats have this bacteria and some are not even affected by it. It is more common for the kittens to have this bacteria and transmit it to humans.

Most people believe that the only way that cats are able to give this disease to humans is by scratching them. The bacteria can actually be found in the cat’s fur making it possible to contract the bacteria while petting the cat and then rubbing your eyes. People who have a normal functioning immune system will have a mild form of this disease.

Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Inflammation and soreness of lymph nodes

What To Expect

The person who is licked, bitten, or scratched by the infect cat will develop a nodule. As the disease becomes worse that nodule will develop underneath the skin where the injury occurred. It is possible for the person to heal without the help of any treatment within a few weeks of infection.

However, if the lymph nodes are still inflamed and the infection has become more severe you will need to see your doctor right away. They might need to prescribe antibiotics that will fight off the infection. These usually take between three to four weeks to take effect.

People who have a weak immune system should be careful because it can become much more serious. It can cause an abnormal growth of blood vessels which will create lumps and cause a condition known as bacillary angiomatosis. This will cause vital organs to become inflamed and can be fatal when not treated.

The best way to prevent cat scratch fever is to immediately wash the injured area with soap and water. If you have played with a cat you should immediately wash your hands before rubbing your eyes.