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Cat scratch disease nothing like The Nuge’s fever

January 18, 2008 - Amy Jo Hanna-Eckenrode
Well, we know Ted Nugent brought attention to the name of this condition in the only perverse way he would know how back in the day when he was playing rock star.
However, incredibly enough, Cat Scratch Fever (actually Disease) is a real condition. Today's “Ask Dr. Donohue” column in the Altoona Mirror (pg. D4) addresses a mom's concern about her little girl who after being given a kitten started complaining of pain under her arm. Mom noticed redness and swelling. Their doctor diagnosed it as cat scratch disease. Mom asked if they should get rid of the cat. Good ‘ole Dr. D (my own mom religiously follows his column… as she does the obit section) quelled the mother’s fears.
According to Dr. D, cat scratch disease is caused by a germ that doesn’t make cats sick but can indeed infect humans. After a bite or scratch from an infected cat, or kitten, the affected area develops a small bite-sized bump (he said about the size of a mosquito bite) that often goes unnoticed. A bit gross, but within a week or so, lymph nodes that drain the area swell, turn red and become tender.
Since most scratches are on the arm, nodes under the arms are the ones usually affected (as in the little girl's case). And, for most people, that’s the only sign of illness, according to Dr. D. Some people may experience a low-grade temperature and a headache. Treatment isn’t always needed but if it is, azithromycin (z-pak) is usually the antibiotic given.  However, Dr. Donohue reinforces that very, very few people become seriously ill.
Dr. D. says this should not deter people from having cats as pets. Cat scratch disease is not new, nor is it something to be feared.

Ted Nugent on the other hand...


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