Sure, cats are adorable and fun, but could they be harmful? A brand new report in the Cdc and Prevention has highlighted a few of the risks of owning cats, specially when they scratch or bite you.

The report finds that cat scratch disease, also is referred to as “cat scratch fever,” has more severe complications than doctors and scientists initially thought. The microbial infection, that is passed to cats by fleas after which spread to humans through scratches, bites or permitting the cat to lick a wide open wound or scrape, might have serious complications for example heart and brain damage when not treated. Other part effects include headache, fever, and inflamed lymph nodes, USA Today reported.

The report also uncovered the prevalence from the disease, and highlighted that even though it was very rare, every year about 12,000 individuals are identified with cat-scratch disease, as well as these, 500 require hospitalization. These incidences were greatest within the U.S. southern states as well as in homes with children aged 5 to 9.

Thankfully, the condition is mainly avoidable, and it’s not necessary to stop your cat safe. Based on the CDC, washing both hands after having fun with the cat, keeping the cat inside, and dealing with it for fleas all can reduce your odds of becoming infected. Flea control is especially useful in southern states and homes with youthful children.

Cat scratch disease is definitely an infection brought on by the bartonella bacteria, Medline Plus reported. A bloodstream test is easily the most accurate method to test with this infection, however the disease continues to be frequently difficult to identify. If you’re identified with cat scratch disease, treatment frequently includes going for a span of antibiotics. However, for individuals with compromised natural defenses, for example Aids patients, cat scratch disease can result in serious complications for example encephalopathy and neuroretinitis, two kinds of serious brain illnesses.

Source: Nelson CA, Saha S, Mead PS. Cat-Scratch Disease within the U . s . States, 2005-2013. Cdc and Prevention. 2016