Cat Scratch Disease

Cat scratch disease, is a bacterial infection that causes swelling of the lymph nodes, usually is due to the scratch, lick , or bite of a cat – more than 90% of people who contract it had contact with cats or kittens.

Signs and Symptoms

Most people with cat scratch disease remember being around a cat, but often can’t recall receiving a scratch or a bite. A blister or a small bump develops several days after the scratch or bite and may be mistaken for a bug bite/, This blister or bump is called an inoculation lesion ( a wound at site where the bacteria enter the body), and it’s most commonly found on the arms, hands, head, or scalp. These lesions are generally not painful. Usually within a couple of weeks of a scratch or bite, one or more lymph nodes close to the area of the inoculation lesion will swell and become tender. Cat scratch disease is not contagious from person to person. The bacteria are spread by the scratch or bite of an infected animal, most often a kitten. They can also be transmitted if the animal’s saliva comes in contact with an eye or through broken skin. Sometimes multiple cases occur in the same family, usually via contact with the same infected animal. Having one episode of cat scratch disease usually makes people immune for the rest of their lives. Antibiotics sometimes are used to treat the disease.