Cat Scratch Disease - Experience

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Can my cat transmit Bartonella henselae to me?

Sometimes, yes, cats can spread B. henselae to people. Most people get CSD from cat bites and scratches. Kittens are more likely to be infected and to pass the bacterium to people. About 40% of cats carry B. henselae at some time in their lives. Cats that carry B. henselae do not show any signs of illness; therefore, you cannot tell which cats can spread the disease to you. People with immunocompromised conditions, such as those undergoing immunosuppressive treatments for cancer, organ transplant patients, and people with HIV/AIDS, are more likely than others to have complications of CSD. Although B. henselae has been found in fleas, so far there is no evidence that a bite from an infected flea can give you CSD.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: catbitten, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: April 01

I showed none of the typical symptoms of cat scratch disease like swollen lymph, fatigue, fever, etc. However I did get these extremely itchy rashes, exanthem I"m told, all over my body. I have had no prior history of any kind of allergies whatsoever.

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Comment from: lojay, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 23

I was diagnosed with having cat scratch fever (CSF) in 1979 when no one really had heard the term other than from a Ted Nugent song. My lymph nodes under one arm were so inflamed and the pain intolerable that I couldn"t move my arm at all. One doctor wanted to lance the infected site and another doctor wanted to remove the nodes all together. I was hospitalized for four days with antibiotics and tests being administered for every known infection from A to Z. Finally, a specialist diagnosed and treated it as CSF. The lump gradually decreased in size and after 3 weeks, had disappeared.

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