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Angiomatosis

Angiomatosis is a medical condition (Von Hippel-Lindau Disease) where capillaries knot up in various organs. Symptoms of angiomatosis include dizziness, weakness of the limbs, balance problems, high blood pressure and vision problems. If the tumors are left unattended, they can lead to complications depending on their location. This rare genetic disorder can lead to problems of the brain or blindness.


Bacillary angiomatosis is infectious and can be contracted through cat scratch, ticks, lice and fleas. It is caused by bacteria from the genus Rochalimaea. It results in cutaneous and subcutaneous nodules that are bright red. They can grow to form tumor-like masses in different organs. The nodules are firm to the touch. Bacillary angiomatosis is noticed often in persons suffering from AIDS. While it is curable, it often is misdiagnosed. Antibiotics such as erythromycin and doxycycline are prescribed to treat the infection; especially before it spreads to the spleen, liver and bone marrow. If left untreated, it can be fatal.

Cat Scratch Disease

Cat scratch disease (CSD), also called Cat Scratch Fever, is a bacterial infection passed on to people from cats that are infected with Bartonella henselae bacteria, one of the most common bacteria in the world. The Bartonella genus encompasses at least 11 species out of which 4 cause infections in human. They are responsbile for diseases such as bacillary Angiomatosis.

When the cat infected with Bartonella henselae bacteria scratches or bites the person or saliva of an infected cat enters an open sore or wound of the person, the bacteria gets transmitted causing cat scratch disease. Cats are believed to contract these bacteria from infected fleas and nearly 40 percent of cats carry the bacteria at some time in their life span. When compared to adult cats, kittens are more prone to carry the bacteria and transmit the disease. Cat's sharp teeth result in deep puncture wounds which can get serious infections if left untreated.


Symptoms

The first symptoms of cat scratch disease surface after three to 14 days of coming into contact with the infected cat. Cat scratch disease can cause serious symptoms in people with impaired immune system such as cancer patients and HIV patients. The infection may be fatal and lead to inflammation of brain, spleen, liver, lungs, and bone marrow. Hence such cases require immediate medical attention and early treatment in case of suspicion.


  • Papular lesion of the skin, at the site of the injury
  • Swelling of lymph nodes near the bite. Most often lymph nodes located under arms, groin or neck are affected.
  • Tired feeling
  • Headaches
  • Low-grade fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss

Diagnosis

It is difficult to establish the diagnosis of cat scratch disease as causative bacteria cannot be easily cultured from human lymph node samples. Therefore diagnosis is done based on the history of contact with a cat and the presence of a scratch or primary lesion of the skin, eye or mucous membrane. Serological test and epidemiological, histological findings are taken into consideration before conforming the diagnosis.


Treatment

Cat scratch disease is self limiting and usually regresses over few weeks. The condition does not require antibiotic treatment unless the patient is suffering from weakened immune system. Analgesics along with local heat application are recommended to relieve the pain of enlarged lymph nodes.


Prevention

Cat scratch disease is not contagious from person to person. The bacteria is transmitted only by the scratch or bite of an infected cat, most often kitten. Keep your pet cats free of fleas. Avoid rough play with the cats. Scratches from cat, if any, should be washed immediately and cats should not be allowed to lick open wounds.



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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: October 19, 2017