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Cat Scratch Disease


Cat Scratch Disease
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Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.52

     challenging words:    cat-scratch, inoculation, oculoglandular, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, drainage, lesion, lymph, inflammation, node, henselae, swelling, diagnosis, inconvenience, syndrome, spleen
     content words:    United States

Cat Scratch Disease
By Jennifer Kenny

1     Did you realize that there is truly an illness known as cat scratch disease? Well, there is. It might seem scary that one could catch an infection from a pet cat. The good news is that those with healthy immune systems rarely catch it!
2     What causes cat scratch disease? The bacterium Bartonella henselae does. It can be found all over the world. It's more common in fall and winter. About forty percent of all cats have carried it at some point. Fleas spread it from cat to cat. Ironically, while a cat may carry it for many months, the cat doesn't get sick from it. Since the cat doesn't appear sick, a person can't tell it's a carrier. Kittens are more likely to be infected with it.
3     About ninety percent of people who are diagnosed with cat scratch disease have been near a cat. However, not everyone remembers an actual scratch or bite from the cat (where the disease usually enters). It can also infect a person if the saliva of an infected cat comes in contact with broken skin or the eye.

Paragraphs 4 to 9:
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