Adorable Claws, Hidden Danger: What You Need to Know About Cat-Scratch Disease

  ”When I work alone in a big city, cats are my companions.” “When I commute to get off work alone, my residence is empty. Having a kitten makes my home feel warmer.” Cats have always been big players in the pet industry. Walking on the street, you can see people walking by carrying cat bags from time to time. The “cats” show their cute heads, which can melt people’s hearts.
  As the number of pet cats kept by people increases, the number of patients with cat-scratch disease is also increasing. Cat-scratch disease occurs frequently in autumn and winter, 90% of the patients have had contact with cats, and 80% of the patients are children. We would like to remind our friends that while enjoying the company of “cats”, they need to be wary of Bartonella henselae in “cats”.
  Bartonella henselae is a small gram-negative bacillus, about 0.5 micron × 1 micron in size, with a single-ended flagellum. It often lives in the cytoplasm of red blood cells and endothelial cells. It is a kind of bacteria that can grow on inanimate nutrient-rich media ( (Containing animal blood) slowly growing and multiplying pathogens. Its biochemical reaction is extremely inactive, but it is sensitive to a variety of antibiotics.
  Cat-scratch disease caused by Bartonella henselae is an acute infectious disease. The main sources of infection are cats (especially kittens) and dogs. Pathogens in their oral cavity and pharynx or on contaminated fur or paws. It is mainly spread to humans through bites, scratches or contact. Most patients have a history of being bitten, scratched, or in close contact with cats or dogs, and it is more common in preschool children and adolescents.
  Cat-scratch disease caused by Bartonella henselae is a self-limiting disease characterized by hyperplastic granulomas and purulent lymphadenitis. It is also a zoonotic infectious disease.
  The incubation period of cat scratch disease varies, and the symptoms are variable. Generally, an inflammatory reaction occurs 3 to 5 days after infection, with erythema, papules, blisters, and scabs, etc. It will naturally subside after 1 to 2 weeks, leaving hard spots. Scab can also be secondary to a clinical syndrome characterized by local lymphadenopathy. Patients may have systemic symptoms such as fever, anorexia, myalgia, and splenomegaly. Patients with low immune function or AIDS combined with this disease are mostly more serious. .
  Cat-scratch disease generally resolves on its own within 2 to 4 months.
  Treatment is mainly symptomatic. When lymph nodes are suppurating, puncture and suction can be used to relieve symptoms. If necessary, the procedure can be repeated after 2 to 3 days. Incision and drainage are not suitable. If the swollen lymph nodes do not shrink for more than 1 year, surgical removal may be considered.
  Treatment with sensitive antibiotics can help shorten the course of the disease, promote prognosis, and reduce sequelae. Ciprofloxacin, erythromycin, doxycycline, azithromycin, and rifampin can be used for treatment.
  There are currently no specific preventive measures for cat-scratch disease, and prevention is the main focus.
  Avoid being too close to pets and try to avoid unnecessary licking, bites or scratches. If you are accidentally scratched or bitten by a cat or dog, you should immediately wash the wound with plenty of running water, disinfect it with iodophor and inject rabies vaccine. If symptoms such as swollen lymph nodes, chills and fever occur, you should seek medical treatment promptly and inform the doctor of the history of being scratched and bitten by a cat, so as to facilitate correct diagnosis and timely treatment by clinicians.
  Cat-scratch disease can have serious consequences for people with low immunity. Therefore, patients with chronic diseases and people with low immunity should be cautious about keeping pets.
  Infections between cats are mainly through fleas. Therefore, you must pay attention to pet hygiene during the feeding process, regularly deworm your pet, trim their nails, and receive necessary vaccinations.