Cat Scratch Disease Essay

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Treatments for cat scratch disease By Jonas Wilson, Ing. Med. Transmitted by the bite or scratch of a cat and occasionally by fleas or ticks, cat scratch disease (CSD) is a common bacterial infection. It is caused by Bartonella henselae and has a high prevalence in humid and warm climates. Children and adolescents are more likely than adults to have a higher risk of exposure. People who become infected present within 1 – 2 weeks with mild infection at the site of inoculation, which is followed by proximal lymphadenopathy and possible systemic symptoms such as fever, anorexia and malaise. Diagnosis is made on the grounds of clinical history and symptoms in addition to serology (best initial test) and is supported by other investigations, such as hematology and lymph node biopsy, if necessary. CSD is usually a self-limiting disease and as such generally only requires symptomatic and conservative treatment in patients with a mild or moderate presentation. Analgesics and antipyretics may be administered as necessary and applying localized heat to the affected lymph nodes may also be done. Patients with more severe presentations of CSD and…show more content…
Those who are immunocompetent with any signs of systemic disease may be followed up in an outpatient clinic with a scheduled appointment several weeks later to ensure that resolution of CSD lymphadenopathy has been achieved. However, a patient should seek medical attention if neurological complications occur or if the lymphadenitis progressively enlarges. The latter could be a sign of something more sinister, such as a neoplasm. In preventing CSD parents should instruct children to always exercise caution to avoid scratches and bites. Proper pet hygiene is also recommended to prevent flea and tick infestations. Treating cats with antibiotics may also be done, but has not shown to reduce the risk of transmission to
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