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This Man Is Left With Painful Balls On The Neck, The Doctors Say That The Cat Is The Cause

This Man Is Left With Painful Balls On The Neck, The Doctors Say That The Cat Is The Cause

Owning a pet brings you a host of benefits, but can this vital, everyday, vulnerable being hurt you? That's what this 68-year-old man did, but one day he woke up with painful boils on his neck. After a medical examination, it turned out that he caught a bacterium from his adorable cat. Discover the whole story!

In an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine, it was revealed that a 68-year-old man presented to the hospital with large and painful boils in parts of his neck. This man, who was not identified in the article, had a cat that he let out on the outside. That said, it was possible that the cat caught something that could be potentially dangerous.

The man woke up one day with bumps in his neck that became more and more painful, but it was only when his fever did not go down that he decided to go to the hospital. After a thorough diagnosis, the doctors concluded that the man had a rather rare condition called glandular tularemia, caused by Francisella tularensis, a form of bacteria that can be found in rodents and other animals. The doctors suspected that his condition had been caused by his cat, who died of a disease diagnosed by a veterinarian as feline leukemia. Fortunately, the man was properly treated and a few weeks later, his boils disappeared.

What is glandular tularemia?

Tularemia is an infection caused by a bacterium named Francisella tularensis, which is transmitted to humans by an animal infected with tick bites, mosquitoes or deer. The most common form of the disease is skin contact with the bacteria, while the most lethal form is caused by inhalation of the bacteria.

In France, 433 cases of tularemia were diagnosed and reported from 1 October 2002 to 31 December 2012, according to the report of the French Institute for Public Health Surveillance.

Symptoms of tularemia

The symptoms of glandular tularemia are:
  • A skin ulcer at the point of contact with the infected animal or at the site of the sting
  • Swollen lymph nodes near the skin ulcer (most often in the armpit or groin)
  • Severe headache
  • A fever
  • Chills
  • Tiredness
  • Diarrhea…

Severe and untreated cases of tularemia can cause:
  • Chronic heart failure
  • Swelling of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, called meningitis
  • The death
  • Risk factors for tularemia

Animals such as rodents, birds or rabbits carry the bacteria responsible for tularemia. You are at increased risk of contracting the disease if you or your pet have frequent contact with animals in the wild.

Treatment of tularemia
Each case of tularemia is treated according to its form and severity. Early diagnosis allows immediate treatment with antibiotics. It is possible that surgery may be required to drain swollen lymph nodes or to cut infected tissue from a skin ulcer.

Some tips to prevent tularemia

To decrease your overall risk of contracting tularemia, you must:
  • Wear long pants and sleeves in the forest to avoid tick bites.
  • Keep animal remains away from food or water.
  • Avoid drinking water from lakes or ponds.
  • Protect your pets outdoors with flea and tick medications.
  • Use insect repellents.
This Man Is Left With Painful Balls On The Neck, The Doctors Say That The Cat Is The Cause