(CBS) – Federal health officials are putting out a warning about soft, cuddly kittens — they could kill you.
The CDC says there’s been a significant increase in reported cases of a bacterial infection commonly known as cat-scratch fever.
Cats do carry a rare bacteria in their mouths that can cause chronic infections in humans.
Common symptoms include fever, fatigue, brain swelling, headaches and swollen lymph nodes.
Some 12,000 Americans succumb to cat-scratch disease every year – most of them contracting it through contact with their pet cats. And apparently, kittens are the worst offenders.
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