Cat Scratch Disease-Symptoms and Prevention

Posted by on April 25, 2012


How can something so cute carry a disease?

Ted Nugent once sang about Cat Scratch Fever, but I do not think he was talking about felines.

There is a cat scratch disease (CSD), also referred to as cat scratch fever and Bartonellosis, that is a zootonic disease carried by the bacteria bartonella henselae.CSD occurs worldwide but is most prevalent in warm, humid climates. CSD is transmitted to cats by fleas. About 40% of all cats carry the bacteria at some point in their lives, however, most cats infected with CSD will have no signs or symptoms.

Brenda Simek, veterinary technology student, researched the disease for her service and applied learning project, and created a brochure to share with the Minnesota School of Business-Shakopee campus. Here she shares symptoms and prevention tips with you.

CSD is transmitted to humans through cat scratches, licks, or bites. In the U.S., more than 22,000 cases are reported annually. CSD occurs more frequently in children because they tend to play rough with cats and kittens which may lead to cat scratches and bites.

Symptoms of CSD

Symptoms of CSD usually appear 3-14 days after a person has been exposed.

Symptoms can include:

  • Bumps at the site of a cat scratch or bite
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Lake of appetite
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Prevention of CSD

  • Some of the ways to prevent the transmission of CSD include:
  • Keep cat nails trimmed
  • Control fleas
  • Wash all scratch and bite wounds immediately with soap and water
  • Do not allow cats to lick open wounds
  • Discourage children from rough play with cats

Contact your physician immediately if you suspect you have been exposed to CSD.

And if you are Ted Nugent, your only cure from cat scratch fever is to call a love doctor.

Thank you for your Interest in Minnesota School of Business.