Cat-scratch disease – causes, side effects and treatments at NaturalPedia.com

Wednesday, February 07, 2018 by

Cat-scratch disease, which is also called subacute regional lymphadenitis or catscratch fever, is characterized as a bacterial infection that a person acquires after he is bitten, scratched, or licked by a cat or kitten. Most cases of this disease usually happen during the fall and winter. They usually occur to children and adolescents more often than in adults, for the former are more likely to play and tease cats or kittens.

Bartonella henselae, a gram-negative rod and the bacteria that bring about this disease, thrive in infected cats’ saliva without making the host sick. In fact, the host cat or kitten may carry the bacteria for months without it registering any abnormalities or any signs that it may be infected. A way to get the bacteria spread among cats is via fleas.

French neurologist Henri Parinaud was acknowledged for his first description of the cat-scratch disease in 1889. However, it was in 1931 when the existence of cat-scratch disease was fully delved on. French physician Dr. Robert Debré and his colleague Georges Semelaigne witnessed a case of suppurating epitrochlear adenitis at the University of Paris and described a number of cat scratches on the affected side.

Dr. Lee Foshay, a microbiologist at the University of Cincinnati, thought cat-scratch disease might be a possible manifestation of tularemia, which is a disease that can be passed on to humans by infected animals. He produced an antigen from the pus of affected patients. Debré and his colleagues consequently developed the same antigen.

Known side effects of cat-scratch disease

One thing you would first notice on a person that has a cat-scratch disease is a blister or a bump that is reminiscent of an insect bite, which is an inoculation lesion, or a wound which marks the entry point of the bacteria to the body. They are usually found on the arms and hands, scalp, or head, and are not painful.

Within a couple of weeks after the bite or scratch, one or more lymph nodes close to the area of the inoculation lesion will swell and become tender. Lymph nodes are circular organs of the immune system that are also referred to as glands. For instance, if the inoculation lesion is on the arm, the lymph nodes in the armpit or elbow will swell.

These swollen lymph nodes sprout most often in the underarm or neck areas, although if the lesion is on the leg, the nodes in the groin will be impacted. The skin over these swollen lymph nodes will tend to become warm and red.

Also, a person infected with a cat-scratch disease may suffer from headaches, fatigue, achiness, malaise, enlarged spleen, fever, sore throat, and loss of appetite. In worst case scenarios, patients may experience oculoglandular syndrome (a combination of granulomatous conjunctivitis in one eye, and swollen lymph nodes in front of the ear), neurorenitis, pneumonia, erythema nodosum (inflammation of fat cells under the skin), thrombocytopenic purpura (characterized by excessive bruising and bleeding), encephalitis, osteomyelitis (bone infection), arthralgia (joint pain), and arthritis.

Body systems harmed by cat-scratch disease

Cat-scratch disease normally affects the integumentary, musculatory, and immune systems.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent cat-scratch disease

There are around a dozen treatments for cat-scratch disease. Applying a mixture of a teaspoon of lavender oil and a teaspoon of sunflower oil to the swelling for two to three times a day can cause unexpected effects to your lesion.

Treatments, management plans for cat-scratch disease

Physicians diagnose cat-scratch disease depending on a child’s history of exposure to a cat or kitten, plus a physical examination. They usually prescribe antibiotics to treat cat-scratch disease. It is essential that the proper dosage is followed by the patient to be able to expect immediate relief.

Kids with cat-scratch disease could be allowed proper bed rest, especially if they tire easily. If the child would rather play, encourage indoor games that have little to do with physical activity and make sure that the child doesn’t injure swollen lymph nodes.

To avoid or getting scratched by a cat that may or may not have cat-scratch disease, a child should avoid playing rough near or with the animal. Also, make sure to always have the members of the family wash their hands after touching the pet cat. If a child has been scratched by a pet cat, he should wash the affected area with soap and water.

Keep your house clean to avoid the infest of fleas that may infect your cat and spread the disease to your family.

Where to learn more

Summary

Cat-scratch disease, which is also called subacute regional lymphadenitis or catscratch fever, is characterized as a bacterial infection that a person acquires after he is bitten, scratched, or licked by a cat or kitten.

One thing you would first notice on a person that has cat-scratch disease is a blister or a bump that is reminiscent of an insect bite.

Cat-scratch disease normally affects the integumentary, musculatory, and immune systems.

Sources include:

KidsHealth.org

eMedicine.Medscape.com

RareDiseases.info.NIH.gov

Home-Remedies-for-You.com



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