Causes and Symptoms of Cat scratch Fever

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Cat scratch fever occurs when a person is bitten, scratched, or licked by a cat infected with the bacteria Bartonella henselae. The bacteria live is found in the saliva of the cat. It does in not usually cause severe complications. However, it is possible that it can in people with weak immune systems. It must be noted that cats can transmit several types of infections to humans. Some of these diseases can be severe.

Causes
A person can get cat scratch fever if they are scratched or bitten by an infected cat. The bacteria live in a cat’s saliva, and can also be passed to a person through an open area of skin.
People are most likely to experience cat scratch fever in the fall and winter when they are inside and play with their cats. Kids are more likely than adults to have the condition. They can play with cats more roughly, making them more likely to be scratched.

Symptoms
Symptoms are not obvious in the first few days after a person is exposed. During this time, the bacteria are multiplying in the body.
Within the third and tenth day after a person is scratched, they may notice a small bump or blister on the affected area. This is known as an inoculation lesion. These lesions are commonly seen on the: arms, hands, head and the scalp. Few weeks later, the person will usually see the lymph nodes near the lesion swollen or tender. Lymph nodes are responsible for filtering bacteria and other particles as well as creating immune system cells. They usually feel like small, spongy, round or oval bumps. However, most people only have swollen lymph nodes as a symptom. Other symptoms associated with cat scratch fever include: Abdominal pain Loss of appetite Fever, typically no higher than 101°F Tiredness Headache Joint pain Rash Sore throat Complications It does not usually cause severe symptoms. However, some people may develop a high fever that does not seem to go away with time. Some people can also experience infections in the bones, joints, liver, lungs, or spleen. The most severe symptoms usually occur in children ages 5 and under. Prompt medical attention is need if the victim of cat scratch experiences the following:

symptoms
A cat bite or scratch that is not healing or is getting worse The red area around a bite or scratch is enlarging A high fever that lasts more than 2 days after being bitten or scratched High levels of pain.

Diagnosing
It could be hard to diagnose as the symptoms are similar to a lot of other conditions. Adequate information on medical history and any interactions the person has had with a cat will aid in the diagnosis.
Physical examination on the scratched area and any swollen lymph nodes will also be carried out.
The doctor may order additional tests to make sure another condition is not causing the symptoms. They could take a sample of blood and send it to the laboratory to determine what type of bacteria is growing.
Doctors can also order a blood test that specifically tests for cat scratch fever.



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