Caused by the bacteria Bartonella henselae, Cat-Scratch Disease usually occurs when a person has a history of bites
and scratches from cats - especially cats aged less than 1 year.
When infection does occur it is usually benign and most people will not become very ill. They may recover from the
infection without any specific treatment. Initial symptoms occur at the site of the bite or scratch in the form of a small
pimple-like lump developing within a few days of the wound.
Within the next two months swelling of the lymph glands in the area of the scratch may occur such as in the armpit on the same side of the body if the bite or scratch was on the hand or arm. A mild fever may also be recorded. The infection is more serious in people with a compromised immune system.
The risk of bites, scratches and Cat-Scratch Disease at the Hobart Cat Café can be lessened by following directions of staff, supervising children when in the cat room, being gentle with the cats and avoiding rough handling, washing bites or scratches immediately with warm water and soap, covering open wounds and not allowing the cats to lick any cuts or bites.
Cat-Scratch Disease will often get better by itself over several months and cannot be spread by human contact. Swollen lymph glands can be a symptom of more serious illness so if symptoms occur please see your GP.