In part one of this series we discussed Scratch Disease in cats. Now let us turn our attention to humans.
Cat Scratch Disease in People: Most people Bartonella infections have some relationship with, or exposure to, cats. Infected people may show various symptoms, including: skin bumps (papules) or blisters (pustules) at site of injury (this is typically the first sign), fatigue, headache, lethargy / malaise, variable fever, swollen lymph nodes (or glands, as my grandpa used to say) and so on.
Children and adults with a normal immune system typically recover fully without treatment in about 6-12 weeks. People with a compromised immune system, for whatever reason, often have a harder time. But they too can generally expect recovery with appropriate antibiotic treatment. Cancer patients, AIDS patients and other people who have a suppressed immune system have an even more difficult time with Cat Scratch Disease and antibiotic treatment is generally recommended.
UPDATE: Recent evidence has linked Bartonella Infection humans to Rheumatoid Arthritis and other related conditions. Read more here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120423131848.htm
If you are worried you or loved one may be infected, please see your physician.
Avoidance or Prevention of Cat Scratch Disease in people starts with the cat. See Part 1 of this series
For more information on Cat Scratch Disease in people, check these links out: