Cat scratch disease (CSD), Bartonella henselae
- Avoid rough play with cats, particularly strays and kittens, to prevent scratches. This is especially important for people who have weakened immune systems. Wash hands promptly after handling cats.
- Treat cats for fleas using fipronil and other spot-on treatments. Check with your veterinarian. Products that contain permethrin should not be used on cats.
- Use a flea collar or similar topical preventive on dogs (fipronil, methoprene, imidocloprid, or permethrin), especially if you have both cats and dogs in your household.
- Keep cats indoors and away from stray cats.
- People who have weakened immune systems should avoid owning cats less than one-year-old.
Trench fever, Bartonella quintana
- Avoid exposure to human body lice. Body lice are typically associated with crowded living conditions and limited access to bathing and clean clothes.
- Do not share clothing, beds, bedding, and towels used by a person who might have body lice.
- Information about treating body lice is also available.
Carrión’s disease, Bartonella bacilliformis
- Use insect repellentsExternal and wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants to avoid sand fly bites in areas where Carrión’s disease is common (South America). If possible, limit outdoor activities at dawn and dusk, when sand flies are most active.
Page last reviewed: March 5, 2019