January 2017 Issue

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Cat scratch disease is caused by the bacteria Bartonella henselae, which is spread primarily by fleas among cats and less commonly among dogs. Kittens and cats harboring flea infestations are especially prone to infection. In some cases, B. henselae may be transmitted from infected cats to humans via scratches or bite wounds. While most healthy people can recover, severe cases can affect the brain, eyes and heart. However, “There is no need to panic,” says cardiologist Bruce G. Kornreich, DVM, Ph.D., Associate Director for Education and Outreach at the Cornell Feline Health Center.

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