Doctors determine that cat scratch disease caused Janese Walters to lose vision in one eye

By Amy Jamieson
Updated May 29, 2015 05:25 PM
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Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OHJanese Walters considers herself lucky.

“I woke up one day and I couldn’t see out of my left eye,” she says. “I looked in the mirror and I thought I had pink eye or something.”

Doctors were stumped, according to Toledo News Now, who first reported the story. Until Walters told them she has a cat.

“They discovered I had something called cat scratch,” she shares.

Doctors say cat scratch disease is caused by a bacteria passed along by cats and kittens, through their saliva or even fur.

Sounds scary? It can be preventable. “Basically, go play with your cats, but wash your hands afterwards,” Walter’s physician, Dr. Brickman, shares. “Don’t let them lick any open wounds, and try not to get bit by any cat.” Only about 40 percent of felines carry the bacteria, though people with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk of contracting the disease.

For her part, Walters is happy that she can still see at all. “I’m just lucky it didn’t transfer to my other eye,” she says.

However, adjusting to life with 50 percent less vision hasn’t been easy. “It’s a big handicap,” Walters says. “There are a lot of things you have to do differently.”

To read more about cat scratch disease, click here.