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June 2, 1962

Family Outbreak of Cat Scratch Disease

Author Affiliations

Catonsville, Md.

From the Departments of Pediatrics and Medicine of the University of Maryland, School of Medicine, and the Department of Surgery, St. Agnes Hospital, Baltimore.; Dr. Snyder is an Instructor in Medicine, University of Maryland, School of Medicine, and Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1962;180(9):780-781. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050220072013

CAT SCRATCH disease has been recognized in all areas of the world with increasing frequency since its first description in 1951. In the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, 5.8% of apparently normal individuals showed positive cutaneous reactions to the skin antigen.

The portal of entry is usually a cat scratch. However, a veterinarian in Columbus, Ohio, developed the disease after a cat bite; this was reported by W. A. Murray, M.D., in a master of science thesis at Ohio State University in 1961. The urine of the infected animals may contain the causative organism; hence, infection may occur following urinary contamination of an open wound.

The clinical manifestations of the disease may simulate tularemia, infectious mononucleosis, lymphosarcoma, Hodgkin's disease, tuberculous adenitis, lymphogranuloma venereum, and benign and malignant tumors. All cases show enlargement and, occasionally, suppuration of one or more of the satellite lymph nodes which drain the site of the initial portal