If you are a cat person, you need to listen up. Your cat could make you very sick. Cats can transmit a Disease called Cat Scratch Fever and people are getting sicker than ever from it. Once thought to be a harmless disease, it is now causing life-threatening complications.

Even though the total number of cases hasgone down over the past 15 years, the number of serious complications from the disease has risen in those infected. Cat Scratch Fever usually produces flu-like symptoms but it can cause infection of the heart and swelling of the brain which can prove fatal.

Like with many other diseases, individuals with compromised immune systems are the most at risk for developing life-threatening complications. The good news is that the disease is preventable and one of the first things you can do to stop the risk of contracting it, is to stop kissing cats!

How does it spread?

Cats get the disease from fleas. When fleas are living on a cat their feces start to accumulated in their fur. This flea dirt is ingested by the cats when they groom themselves and since it is found on their paws and nails, a person can be infected if they are scratched by a cat.

Since it is in their mouths, kissing cats should be avoided because it is another way the disease is passed from cats to humans.Fleas thrive in areas where the air is hot and moist so the disease is most prevalent in the south. Children are most likely to become infected because they play and handle cats and kittens in the ways that transmit the disease.

Protect yourself

Prevention is the best way to stop the spread of this disease.

The best prevention is to not have a cat. If you cannot avoid that, you want to make sure that your cat does not have fleas. If they do, make sure you eliminate the problem immediately. Since the flea’s feces are in the cat fur, make sure you wash your hands after handling cats or kittens and please don’t kiss that kitty. You need to be careful not to touch your face after touching a cat because your nose, eyes and mouth are all routes of transmission.

Since cats lick their fur, do not let them lick you, especially if you have any wounds, scratches, or cuts on your skin.

Kittens are the most likely to transmit the disease because they are so young and not immune to it. Great care should be taken in handling kittens and preventing fleas. All this risk may just make you become a dog person.

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