Cat-scratch disease (also commonly known as cat-scratch fever) is a self- limiting infectious disease characterized by swelling and pain in the lymph nodes (regional lymphadenitis). Symptoms can vary from mild to severe, and may include achiness and discomfort (malaise), and/or loss of appetite (anorexia). The disease is caused by the bacterium Bartonella henselae and, in most cases, occurs as a result of a scratch, bite, or lick from a cat or kitten. Symptoms may not appear for several days after exposure and may last for several weeks. Although cat-scratch disease usually subsides without treatment, antibiotic and/or antimicrobial therapy may speed recovery. Approximately 22,000 cases are reported in the United States each year, although more mild cases may go unnoticed and resolve without treatment.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
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This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".
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