Like drinking, smoking, eating processed and/or red meat, and all of the other good things in life that can eventually kill you, a new study conducted by the Centre for Disease Control claims that cuddling adorable kittens could be hazardous to your health. Freaking kittens, all along! As it turns out, “Cat Scratch Fever” is more than just a song by The Nuge, but a potentially deadly disease.
Of course, “cat-scratch disease” as it’s typically known, is nothing new. The disease itself is caused by bacteria transmitted to cats by fleas, and then to human from cats, which can cause intense fevers, pustules, and worse case scenario, even death. The disease was previously thought to be transmitted to humans primarily through scratches or bites, however, new research shows that it can also be transmitted through kissing or nuzzling our fur babies.
Dr. Christina Nelson from the CDC told The Independent that “the scope and impact of the disease is a little bit larger than we thought,” and that for the most part, the disease is wholly preventable. “If we can identify the populations at risk and the patterns of disease, we can focus the prevention efforts.”
The study, which took place over eight years and surveyed over 13,000 cases of cat-scratch disease, found the annual incidence of the disease was 4.5 outpatient diagnoses per 100,000 population, which is higher than expected, but still quite rare.
Only a small minority of the cases documented resulted in death, though this was a more likely outcome if patients had hesitated to seek medical help.
The good news is that transmission of the disease is most common in stray cats and kittens, but doctors still recommend that you wash your hands after touching your cat. Like a common farm animal! Between this and news that cats are an “ecological disaster,” this has really not been a benchmark week for our feline friends.
(Via The Independent)