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Cat-Scratch Disease

Cat-Scratch Disease

Cat-scratch disease (also commonly known as cat-scratch fever) is a bacterial infection that causes swelling and pain in the lymph nodes and loss of appetite. In most cases, it occurs after a scratch, bite, or lick from a cat or kitten. This infection is also called bartonellosis.

Symptoms can vary from mild to severe, may not appear for several days after the bite or scratch, and may last for several weeks.

Although cat-scratch disease usually goes away without treatment, antibiotics are often used to speed recovery.

Last Revised: December 6, 2012

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Charles M. Myer, III, MD - Otolaryngology

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