Have you ever heard of cat scratch disease? There are 22,000 cases of cat scratch disease in the United States every year, writes Dr. Lawrence Gerson in his column for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Cat scratch disease is caused by Bartonella henselae, and, as you might guess, most people who develop cat scratch disease have been bitten or scratched by a cat. Not all cats carry B. henselae, and among those that do, kittens are the most likely carriers, the CDC says. Even if a cat carries B. henselae, though, they don’t show any signs of illness. Symptoms for people include swollen lymph nodes, fever, headache, fatigue, and a poor appetite.
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