Cat-Scratch Disease

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Cat-Scratch Disease
What is Cat-Scratch Disease?                          What are the complications
CSD is a bacterial disease caused by a cat scratch,   associated with Cat-Scratch
lick or bite.
Who gets Cat-Scratch Disease?                         Usually the disease resolves by itself in two to
It is most frequent in children, young adults and     four months. Immunocompromised persons may
immunocompromised people.                             need treatment for longer periods of time due to
                                                      serious lymph node involvement.
How is Cat-Scratch Disease
                                                      What is the treatment for Cat-
Most patients (more than 90 percent) have a           Scratch Disease?
scratch, bite, lick or other exposure from a          Antibiotics may be useful.
healthy, usually young cat.
                                                      What can be done to control the
What are the symptoms of Cat-                         spread of Cat-Scratch Disease?
Scratch Disease?                                      !   Immediately clean all cat scratches and bites
Symptoms include headache, fatigue, variable              with soap and water.
patterns of fever and swelling and tenderness of      !   Practice good hand washing after handling and
the lymph glands. A red elevated lesion may               playing with cats and kittens.
appear at the site of the exposure.                   !   People should avoid playing roughly with cats
                                                          and kittens to minimize scratches and bites.
How soon after exposure do                            !   Immunocompromised people should avoid
                                                          contacts with cats that scratch or bite.
symptoms appear?                                      !   When acquiring a new cat, you should avoid
Symptoms including the lesion may appear three            those younger than one year of age.
to 12 days after exposure. The swelling of the
lymph nodes may appear five to 50 days after the
lesion appears.

How long is a person able to spread
Cat-Scratch Disease?
Cat-Scratch Disease is not spread from person to

Does past infection to Cat-Scratch
Disease make a person immune?

                                                                     North Dakota Department of Health
                                                                                  Rev. December 2004