Cat-Scratch Disease – Causes, Prevention, and Treatment

1What Is Cat-Scratch Disease?

Cat scratch disease, also known as cat scratch fever, is a bacterial infection. As the name implies, it is spread from cats infected with bacteria called Bartonella henselae. Currently, the CDC estimates that approximately 12,000 individuals would be diagnosed with this health issue each year in the United States. And 500 of these patients might need hospitalization. The number of cases are likely to increase in January as well as between August and November as more people adopt kittens during these periods. [1]

What Causes Cat-Scratch Disease?

In general, the main cause of cat-scratch disease is the Bartonella henselae bacteria. It is estimated that around 40 percent of cats carry these bacteria at some point in their lives. The risk is higher in young kittens that are younger than one year. However, most of them do not show any symptoms of infections. Infected cats spread the bacteria when they lick your open wound, scratch, or bite you to break the skin’s surface. After 1 or 2 weeks, a mild infection may happen and lead to typical symptoms of cat-scratch disease. [2]

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