There are diseases that many have never heard of. Such is BKC - cat scratch disease. In medicine, it is listed as benign lymphoreticulosis or Mollaret granuloma. The causative agent of this acute infectious disease, the bacterium Bartonella, is found on the teeth, paws, and claws of a cat. You can get infected not only when she scratches your arm or leg, but even if you just stroked her.
Features of BKTs
A good half of all cats, domestic and especially homeless, are infected with Bartonella. The main carrier of these bacteria is fleas. But if your cat is not on the street, do not worry - she is healthy.
Most of all cats-carriers of bacilli are in the warm, southern regions of the country. The risk of being infected with them is higher in winter and is greater from kittens than from adult animals. Children and young people under the age of 20 usually become victims of the BCC.
For the first time, the BCC was described more than half a century ago and seems to have been studied, but still there is no complete clarity with it. It has been proven, for example, that dogs can also be bartonelli carriers. However, there are no scientifically confirmed cases of infection from them. It is not completely clear why Bartonella cats themselves do no harm.
But a person infected from them gets sick. Moreover, the disease can develop according to completely different scenarios. One thing is certain: it largely depends on immunity.
If you have it strong, you will most likely get off with a slight indisposition. The lymph nodes will probably increase slightly, the temperature will rise slightly, but the sore at the site of the scratch or bite will quickly heal, and the ailment will go away without any treatment. But when the immune system is weakened, the disease is difficult and long-term.
Symptoms and complications
In addition to the appearance of ulceration, the lymph nodes closest to the site of injury become highly inflamed and enlarged. Often they fester and cause significant pain, especially in the axillary, groin areas.
High temperature can persist for a long time. The person is extremely weak. Headaches, nausea, vomiting are possible. Often, the disease seems to subside, then aggravates again. The treatment of such lymphadenitis is delayed for three to four months.
But the most dangerous thing is the complications with which the BCC can end. They are very varied and unpredictable. This is conjunctivitis, and optic neuritis, and sepsis, and skin tumors, elephantiasis of the extremities, thrombophlebitis, hepatitis.
Rarely, but it happens, patients are affected by pneumonia, osteomyelitis, severe pathologies of the heart, spleen. And in very critical conditions - even encephalitis, meningitis.
What to do?
A cat scratch or wound should be disinfected as soon as possible. Ideally, first with a solution of hydrogen peroxide, and then with iodine tincture or brilliant green. If the wound is deep, you should immediately go to the trauma center.
The difficulty in treating BKC is that antibiotics practically do not act on Bartonella. Except for one: "Azithromycin" (synonyms "Sumamed", "Zi-factor"). And he does not act as efficiently as it should.
Festering lymph nodes must be opened and pus removed from them. You cannot do without such an operation, since there is a high risk of general infection of the body - sepsis. So no matter how much you adore cats, it's better to be careful with them!