Acquire the license to the best health content in the world
Contact Us

Cat Scratch Fever: Nothing to Yowl About

Symptoms seldom last long

(HealthDayNews) -- Cat Scratch Fever -- It's a somewhat disturbing name for a disease many cat lovers seem to love to fear.

It should sound scarier than, say, Parinaud's Syndrome, Debre's Syndrome, or even Petzetakis' Syndrome. Whatever you choose to call it -- those all are synonyms for the same affliction.

The Health Library at Yale-New Haven Health System describes it this way: "A self-limiting infectious disease characterized by swelling and pain in the lymph nodes (regional lymphadenitis)." Symptoms can vary from mild to severe, and may include achiness, discomfort, malaise and loss of appetite. In most cases a scratch, bite, or lick of a cat is considered to be the source of the infection.

Some 22,000 cases of CSD are reported in the U.S. annually -- peaking in the fall and winter seasons in temperate climates and extending through July and August where it is warmer. Fewer than 10 percent of cases require hospitalization, notes The Internet Journal of Advanced Nursing Practice (IJAPN).

Most CSD cases actually require no treatment, though doctors often prescribe an antibiotic to reduce the risk of complications.

The IJAPN notes that CSD appears to strike males more than females, and children most of all. People most often contract it from young, male cats via a bite, scratch, or petting, as a result of direct contact with saliva deposited on an infected cat's fur and claws as it self-grooms.

Symptoms may not appear for several weeks. They often fade away after another few weeks.

Consumer News