Toledo, OH — Without any warning signs, Janese Walters lost the vision in her left eye.
“I woke up one day – and I couldn’t see out of my left eye.” Said Janese.
“I looked in the mirror and I thought I had pink eye, or something…I went to the doctors and they couldn’t figure out for some time what it was. ”
Her doctors couldn’t figure out what had caused her sudden blindness, until she told them she had a cat.
Janese said, “They discovered I had something called Cat Scratch.”
Doctors say that Cat Scratch Disease is caused by a bacteria that is passed from cats or kittens through their saliva, or even their fur.
“Anything that is exposed to the cats mouth, including if you have a little scratch – that the cat licks – thats how you can get it.”
Doctor Kris Brickman says only about 40% of cats carry the bacteria, which isn’t harmful to them but can be to humans.
“It can affect the eyes because what it does is increases blood vessels that creates problems – called antinomies, it can also cause some liver problems and can get into the spinal fluids and create meningitis.”
People with weak immune systems are at a greater risk, but Doctor Brickman says there’s an easy solution, “Basically go play with your cats – but wash your hands afterwards. dont let them lick any open wounds, and try not to get bit by any cat.”
Janese says she didn’t know about Cat Scratch before, but not she wants to share her story so other people are aware.
“It’s real important – you dont want to loose your eye sight.”