Health Quiz: Cat-Scratch Disease

Which household pet behavior can spread a disease with low grade fever, enlarged lymph nodes, and severe muscle pain?

  1. Dogs Shedding
  2. Cats Scratching
  3. Birds Molting
  4. Fish Swimming

Answer: Cats Scratching

A new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that the bacterial infection cat-scratch disease may have had a deeper and more deadly impact to people than originally assumed.
The disease is spread by infected fleas. Cats pick up the bacteria that causes the disease – Bartonella henselae – from scratching and grooming flea excrement on their fur. They can then transfer the bacteria by scratching someone.
“Cat-scratch disease (CSD) is a bacterial infection spread by cats. The disease spreads when an infected cat licks a person’s open wound, or bites or scratches a person hard enough to break the surface of the skin. About three to 14 days after the skin is broken, a mild infection can occur at the site of the scratch or bite. The infected area may appear swollen and red with round, raised lesions and can have pus. The infection can feel warm or painful. A person with CSD may also have a fever, headache, poor appetite, and exhaustion. Later, the person’s lymph nodes closest to the original scratch or bite can become swollen, tender, or painful.”
See newly release CDC Report on Cat-Scratching Disease