Have you—or has your child—been scratched, bitten, or otherwise hurt by a cat? Once you stop the bleeding and control the pain, there is another risk that you need to know about: cat scratch disease.
Cat Scratch Disease: The Facts
Before you can know what to do about cat scratch disease, you need to understand more about the condition. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Cat scratch disease may be contracted by humans when an infected cat scratches, bites, or licks an open wound.
- About 40 percent of cats carry the Bartonella henselae bacterium that results in cat scratch disease.
- Most cats that carry this infection show no symptoms.
- Kittens are more likely to be infected and to spread infection to humans.
- Symptoms of cat scratch disease may develop about three to fourteen days after a person has been scratched, bitten, or licked by an infected cat.
- Symptoms of cat scratch disease include, but are not limited to: fever, headache, loss of appetite, redness or swelling near the site, pus from the site, red lesions, exhaustion, and painful or swollen lymph nodes.
- There are serious, but rare, complications associated with cat scratch disease. These complications include problems with the brain, eyes, heart and internal organs.
- Children under age five and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to experience serious complications from cat scratch disease.
- Cat scratch disease is not always treated by doctors, but there is a test available if you experience significant complications.
- If you have any health concerns after playing with or being attacked by a cat then you should see a doctor and mention your experience with the feline.
You should also know that if you, or your child, experience serious side effects from cat scratch disease then the medical bills and other financial costs may be significant. You may have the right to recover damages from the cat owner or his insurer. To find out more about your rights, please contact us directly via this website today to schedule a free consultation.