Cat Scratch Fever Can Compromise Weak Immune Systems

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Not only should people stop kissing their chickens, they should also take care when scratched by their pet cat, according to npr.com.

In a recent study, Emerging Infectious Diseases, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers found that “The scope and impact of the disease is a little bit larger than we thought,” stated Dr. Christina Nelson lead researcher in the study.

Cat Scratch Fever is a non contagious disease that is considered a mild illness, but the study shows that people who contract this are developing more serious complications especially if one has weak immune systems.

The disease is caused by bacteria, usually Bartonella Henselae one of the most common bacterias in the world, and passed between cats by fleas. Cat Scratch Fever is a known Emerging Infectious Disease that can cause the brain to swell, infect the heart, blur the eyes, or affect other organs.

Cat Scratch Fever is not serious in people that are healthy. However, people with weak immune systems, such as those who have “immunodeficiency” virus infection or poorlycontrolled diabetes and those sustaining chemotherapy for cancer, have a greater risk of complications and need to be careful with their health, according to humanillnesses.com.

Although most cat scratches don’t pose a serious threat, some can carry the bacteria that causes Cat Scratch Fever and if not treated properly can become dangerous to one’s health. “Most of the people who get seriously sick from cat-scratch are immunocompromised. The classic example is patients with HIV,” stated Dr. Aaron Glatt, chairman of medicine and hospital epidemiology of South Nassau Community Hospital in New York.

People can prevent themselves from getting this rare disease by doing very simple things, consider doing the following: after touching a cat wash the hands, avoid rough play that could lead to being scratched or bitten, and getting rid of fleas on the cat can help prevent this disease.

According to healthline.com, the symptoms of Cat-Scratch Fever are headaches, overall discomfort, sore throat, loss of appetite, low grade fever, and weight loss. When it comes to hospitalization, 55% of humans hospitalized patients were older than 18 years of age and 60% were male.

Some of the complications of Cat-Scratch Fever are, brain diseases called Encephalopathy. Encephalopathy can occur when the germs are spread to the brain and sometimes Encephalopathy results in permanent brain damage.

Another possible complication is Neuroretinitis. This is an inflammation of the optic nerve and retina in the eye that causes blurred vision. The inflammation can occur when the bacteria associated with cat scratch fever travels to the eye and causes blurred vision according to humanillnesses.com.

Also, there is a bacterial infection called Osteomyelitis, is an infection that affects the bones, which can cause bone damage. However if it gets too serious, it can lead to amputation.

If someone has any of the following, call the doctor: a bite or a scratch from a cat that is not healing, an area of redness around the wound that keeps expanding, or you develop a fever that lasts for a few days after receiving the scratch or bite. These are all symptoms of Cat Scratch Fever, according to healthline.com.