About 70 percent of all cats carry the bacterium Bartonella henselae in itself. It is the trigger for cat scratch disease. In children, the elderly and weakened people, it can attack the heart muscle and become life-threatening. In this article you will learn which symptoms the cat scratch disease causes and how you can avoid transmission.Although more than 15 million cats are kept in Germany, few owners have ever heard of the so-called cat scratching disease.
Not much is known about this disease: It is mainly transmitted from very young cats to humans through bites, scratches and similar injuries. In healthy people, it usually heals without problems. Especially seniors and small children are endangered.
First symptoms often show up weeks after a bite. This makes it difficult to interpret a cat bite or scratch as the cause of symptoms that follow late in life. It is also a reason why the cat scratch disease is so little known. What exactly is the cat scratch disease. How dangerous it really is? 5 facts about the ways of infection and symptoms
1. How dangerous is cat scratch disease?
In healthy people, infection often goes unnoticed. It often heals on its own, without the need for additional medication. Immunocompromised, elderly people and children, however, are at risk of developing a complicated course.
This can vary from person to person: rare skin diseases, blood-filled cysts in the liver and meningitis can be the symptoms. In the worst case, the bacterium attacks the heart muscle, threatening cardiac arrest.
2. What are the common symptoms of cat scratch disease??
After an infection, red, itchy pustules form on the skin, which quickly fill up with pus. Headache and fever are among the accompanying symptoms. Often the lymph nodes swell up additionally.
If you notice these symptoms after being bitten by a cat, you should see a doctor immediately!
3. How is cat scratch disease transmitted?
Through small injuries while playing or petting the cat. The bacterium is responsible Bartonella henselae. Up to 70 percent of all European domestic cats are said to be carriers of this bacterium.
4. Where does the causative bacterium come from Bartonella henselae from?
The bacterium Bartonella henselae Lives in the feces of fleas, ticks and lice. Especially outdoor cats should be checked regularly for flea infestation to avoid infecting their humans with the cat scratch disease.
5. Can you prevent infection?
Through regular visits to the vet and independent checks, an infestation of fleas and other vermin can be quickly detected and treated. This is the best way to avoid cat scratch disease.
Anyone who handles outdoor cats and sustains an injury while playing should wash the wound thoroughly with warm water and soap. Children, in particular, should be inculcated with the importance of washing their hands after playing with animals to minimize the risk of infection.