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What causes cat-scratch disease?

Cat scratch disease (CSD) is caused by an infection of the bacteria Bartonella henselae which is often carried in cat saliva. When a cat scratches or bites you the bacteria is transferred into your blood stream causing CSD. You can also contract CSD by allowing a cat to lick your eyes or an open wound. The bacteria are transferred to cats by fleas; however, for humans, a bite from an infected flea does not produce CSD.

Continue Learning about Cat Scratch Disease

Are children at greater risk for cat scratch disease?
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Children are more often affected by cat scratch disease (CSD) than adults. It is thought that th...
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How does cat scratch disease affect the body?
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Once the bacteria from a cat scratch reaches the blood stream, cat scratch disease (CSD) can spr...
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How do medications treat cat scratch disease?
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Cat scratch disease (CSD) often goes away on its own with 2 to 4 months. On the occasions when d...
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What do I need to know about caring for someone with cat scratch disease?
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When caring for someone with cat scratch disease (CSD), remember to keep the area of their infection...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.