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Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Other infections

Question: Can it be Rabies?

 vertigal - Fri Nov 19, 2004 6:36 pm

I was in the Carribbean a few days ago and while I was there, staying at a resort, I was bitten by one of the cats that roamed around, while I was lazily petting it. I found out later that these cats around the resort were actually strays. I had immediately washed the area where I was bitten (on my hand) and only noticed red swelling from the bitemark. The next day it was gone. My friends said in jest that I got rabies but I didn't care since I thought the skin wasn't even pierced. But yesterday (3 days after the bite) I noticed a very small, thin scab there. Now I'm wondering if I should get tested. I feel so ridiculous but should I really be concerned?
Ive tried calling doctors but no one is around to help me so I'm hoping someone can provide guidance here.
 Carolyn Merritt, LPN - Wed Nov 24, 2004 11:08 pm

User avatar Hello:
I advise strongly that you go to the doctor and have it checked. My main concern is not Rabies, but rather an infection called "cat-scratch" disease.

Cat-scratch disease is an infection caused by bacteria (germs) carried in cat saliva. The bacteria can be passed from a cat to a human.
You can get cat-scratch disease from a cat bite or cat scratch. You can get the infection after a cat scratches you if the cat's paws have the bacteria on them. (A cat can get the bacteria on its paws when it licks itself.) With a cat bite, the cat can pass the bacteria to you in its saliva. You can also get the bacteria in your eyes if you pet a cat that has the bacteria on its fur and then rub your eyes. Many people who get cat-scratch disease do not remember being scratched or bitten by a cat.
Cat-scratch disease is not a severe illness in people who are healthy. But it can be a problem in people with weak immune systems.

Some warnings signs to look out for would be:
A cat scratch or bite that does not heal in the usual length of time.
An area of redness around a cat scratch or bite that continues to get bigger for more than 2 days after the injury.
Fever that lasts for several days after a cat scratch or bite.
Painful and swollen lymph nodes for more than 2 or 3 weeks.
Bone or joint pain, abdominal pain (without fever, vomiting or diarrhea) or an unusual degree of tiredness for more than 2 or 3 weeks.

Hopefully, this will go away and will only be an unpleasant memory.

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