Cat scratch disease : Treatment

Treatment

Generally, cat scratch disease is not serious. Medical treatment is not usually needed. In severe cases, treatment with antibiotics such as azithromycin can be helpful.

In AIDS patients and other people who have a suppressed immune system, cat scratch disease is more serious, and treatment with antibiotics is recommended.

Prognosis (Expectations)

In children with normal immune systems, full recovery without treatment is the norm. In immunocompromised people, treatment with antibiotics generally leads to recovery.

Complications

  • Encephalopathy
  • Neuroretinitis
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Parinaud’s syndrome (granulomatous conjunctivitis with adenopathy)

Calling Your Health Care Provider

Call your health care provider if you have enlarged lymph nodes and a history of exposure to a cat.


Review Date : 8/28/2009
Reviewed By : Linda Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine; Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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