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Posted: May 29, 2015

Woman goes blind in one eye after playing with her cat

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            Woman goes blind in one eye after playing with her cat
Cat scratch' is carried by 40% of cats.

WPXI - Pittsburgh

TOLEDO, OHIO —

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An Ohio woman says she lost sight in one eye after being licked by  her cat.

“I woke up one day and I couldn't see out of my left eye,” Janese Walters said. “I looked in the mirror and I thought I had pink eye or something.” (Source: ToledoNewsNow.com)

It took more than a month for doctors to figure out she had cat scratch disease,  which is caused by a bacteria passed from cats to humans through the animal’s saliva or fur. 

Apparently, Walters caught the disease when her cat licked her, and she said she feels lucky it did not spread to the other eye.

According to the Cat Scratch Disease Fact Sheet, symptoms usually appear within 3 to 14 days after being bitten or scratched by an affected cat and people with compromised immune systems are most vulnerable.

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Eye infection leading to blindness is considered rare. Most people don’t require treatment but some may need antibiotics to speed recovery.

The Fact Sheet says the disease is believed to be passed between cats via infected fleas, and the flea excrement on the cat is what passes it to humans. 

“There is no human-to-human transmission of CSD,” according to the Fact Sheet.

If you are a pet owner, the Fact Sheet says you can avoid CSD by taking precautions:

  • Maintain excellent flea and tick control.
  • Avoid rough play with cats.
  • If you have an open wound do not allow a cat to lick it.
  • Thoroughly wash the site of a bite or scratch with soap and water.
  • Adopt or buy cats that are in good health and without fleas.

WPXI.com contributed to this report.

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