What is Cat Scratch Fever? | PCH.com

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What is Cat Scratch Fever?

March 16th, 2012 Healthy Living

Believe it or not, cat scratch fever is more than just a Ted Nugent album. According to the National Institutes of Health, it's a bacterial infection that humans can receive through contact with an infected feline, whether a bite or a scratch. Generally, cat scratch fever is not a serious condition and clears up on its own in a relatively short period of time - if you've recently been in contact with a kitty and start to feel ill, you may be a victim.

The most common symptoms are not unlike the common cold. Perhaps the most telltale sign is a bump or blister at the site of the injury. This is usually the first sign of cat scratch fever and other symptoms follow, such as fatigue, general malaise, a slight fever and headaches. Less common symptoms include a sore throat, weight loss and loss of appetite.

According to the source, medical treatment is generally not needed when dealing with the condition. In fact, cat scratch fever frequently goes undiagnosed simply because the symptoms exhibited are relatively common for a number of similar illnesses. If you do have a suppressed immune system, however, antibiotics may be necessary.

Prevention is a simple matter of staying away from cats. If you own one, do your best to keep him happy and avoid being bitten or scratched. If you can't stay away from your kitty, try to wash your hands after coming in contact with him - this should help reduce your risk of contracting disease and you won't have to worry about not spending time with your favorite feline pal!