Sunday, November 25, 2007

Cat Scratch Disease

Sometimes called "cat scratch fever," cat scratch disease is a bacterial infection that typically causes swelling of the lymph nodes. It usually results from the scratch, lick, or bite of a cat — more than 90% of people with the illness have had some kind of contact with cats, often with kittens. Cats less than one year old are more likely to have it. It's more likely to occur in the fall and winter.

Bartonella henselae is the bacterium that causes cat scratch disease, and it's found in all parts of the world. Fleas spread the bacteria between cats, although currently there is no evidence that fleas can transmit the disease to humans.

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.

Children are more susceptible. No reason to get rid of the cat though. The illness is relatively rare and usually mild, and a few steps can go a long way toward limiting your child's chances of contracting the disease.

Read the entire article.

I've had cats as pets for 37 years and I grew up allergic to everything, so when I got a scratch it would swell and itch and get very red if I didn't do something about it right away.

That still happens, but since we keep Tea Tree Oil in our Herbal Medicine Chest, I just apply some any time our kitty uses my legs as a launching pad for a leap. Tea Tree Oil has many uses.

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