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Our son was recently diagnosed withcat scratch disease.

Dear Ms. Montgomery:

Cat scratch disease (CSD) is a common cause of swollen lymph nodes in children, especially when the swelling lasts longer than three weeks. The swelling can last for two to four months or longer, but usually goes away on its own. Children who have had CSD appear to have lifelong immunity.

Controversy still reigns over the exact cause of CSD. There are no easy diagnostic tests. A study reported in the July 1, 1993, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that CSD is strongly associated with owning a kitten and that it may be transmitted by fleas. Further studies are needed before any recommendations can be made.

Teach your children to avoid cat scratches and bites. Explain that they should not let a cat lick their skin, especially near wounds. It is interesting to note that more boys than girls are diagnosed with CSD, possibly because they tend to play more roughly with animals.


Cory SerVaas, M.D.
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Title Annotation:Ask Dr. Cory
Author:SerVaas, Cory
Publication:Humpty Dumpty's Magazine
Date:Jan 1, 1994
Previous Article:During our children's checkups, thepediatrician always asks whether they've had any allergic reactions to food.
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