Elderly Man Catches Rare Life-threatening Disease From His Pet Cat

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A 68-year old man from Missouri was suffering from a rare disease that started with tiny swelling in his neck. Over time, the bumps grew and grew, so he went to see a doctor. The man was diagnosed with glandular tularemia, a rare disease caused by an even rarer bacteria, which can have a fatal outcome.

Just before the man’s symptoms, his cat passed away. When he told his doctor of his cat’s passing, he immediately knew what the problem was. The cat was already prescribed meds for the condition which it passed on to his owner. Domestic cats get infected with the bacterium by consuming infected prey and the bacterium can be easily passed to humans.

Tularemia

The man’s biggest mistake was waiting for a few weeks before going to the doctor. He chose to wait even when the lesions grew big and became painful. After a month of doxycycline treatment, the disease was gone from the man’s body and he’s feeling much better.

What is Tularemia?

Tularemia is a rare infectious disease triggered by the Francisella tularensis bacterium. It is deadly in 50% of the cases and attacks the lymph nodes, skin, lungs, and eyes. The disease is transferred through infected ticks, flies, and even domesticated cats and dogs. The symptoms include lesions on the skin and swollen lymph glands as well as fever, chills and fatigue.

Picture: Getty Images

The good news is that tularemia can be defeated with antibiotics if you visit the doctor on time.