What Is a Cat Scratch Fever?

Q:
What is a cat scratch fever?

A:
Cat scratch fever, also called cat scratch disease (CSD), is a bacterial infection. The disease gets its name because people contract it from cats infected with Bartonella henselae bacteria.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 12,000 people will be diagnosed with cat scratch fever, and 500 people will be hospitalized each year in the United States. Cases surge both in January — possibly due to increased adoptions of kittens — and in the period between August and November.

What causes cat scratch fever?

  • You can get cat scratch fever from a bite or scratch from an infected cat.
  • You can also get the disease if saliva from an infected cat gets into an open wound or touches the whites of your eyes.
  • You may get the disease from a flea or a tick carrying the bacterium.

You can’t get cat scratch disease from another human.

You’d better consult with your doctor if you get a cat scratch fever.

Keyword: cat scratch fever

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.