A new study from the CDC has found that cat-scratch disease, a potentially serious bacterial infection, is more common that previously thought.
Did you know? That cuddle session with Cleo could be making you sick. A new study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that when left untreated, more people are suffering serious complications from cat-scratch disease. Here's what you need to know.
What is cat scratch disease (CSD)?
Cat-scratch disease (or fever) is a bacterial infection that can affect humans following a scratch or bite from an infected domestic or feral cat. It can also spread when an infected cat licks a person’s open wound. The bacterial infection is passed between cats by fleas and can spread to humans, making them ill.
How can you get cat-scratch disease?
Humans risk contracting the disease when they’re bitten, scratched—and even from nuzzling a cat. According to the CDC, most cat scratches do not result in cat-scratch disease, but though the disease is rare, the study found that the number of people who are infected and become seriously ill is on the rise.
What are the symptoms? Can there be more serious complications?
According to the CDC, the symptoms of cat-scratch fever include fever; enlarged, tender lymph nodes that develop one to three weeks after the initial scratch; and the infected area may appear swollen and red with round, raised lesion that can have pus. You may also have a headache, poor appetite and exhaustion.
How do you avoid CSD? How is it treated?
The CDC recommends washing your hands after playing with a cat—even if you haven’t been bitten. If you do get scratched, immediately clean the area with soap and water and watch for any symptoms. If these do develop, see your doctor immediately. In serious cases, treatment with antibiotics may be prescribed.
Classic Roast Turkey and Gravy Source: Jeff Coulson
Our Test Kitchen dishes their best advice on turkey brining, basting, stuffing, gravy and cooking temperature.
Brining adds both moisture and flavour to your turkey and can offer a bit of insurance if you have a habit of overcooking your bird. Our recipe features a lower-sodium alternative to the traditional salt water-based brine using apple cider. To brine, look for large stock pot or canning pot and make sure that your turkey is completely submerged before storing in your refrigerator. TK Tip: A turkey that is brined using a salt water-based solution will create pan drippings that are saltier than your average turkey. If you'd like to make gravy, stick to using chicken or turkey stock or make a gravy that doesn't require pan drippings, such as our creamy gravy recipe.
A stuffed turkey takes longer to cook because the stuffing reaches an internal temperature of 170°F (77°C). The cavity is smaller than it looks, so it's unlikely you'll have enough stuffing for all your guests and you'll need to make extra on the side anyway. To avoid this, bake your stuffing in a casserole dish to serve alongside the turkey.
It may seem like a pain to baste every 30 to 45 minutes, but it is really worth the effort because it ensures that you'll have a golden, juicy turkey. Whether you use a turkey baster, silicone brush or a spoon, all you need to do is make sure that you're basting the turkey evenly using the juices collected in the turkey and the bottom of the pan. TK Tip: If your turkey starts to brown too quickly because of hot spots in your oven, cover those parts with foil and continue cooking.
A digital instant-read themometer is one of the most valuable tools in the kitchen. A thermometer helps to take the guess work out of checking for doneness since it is nearly impossible to tell if a large roast is done simply by looking at it. To check if your turkey is done, insert the themometer into the thickest part of the breast avoiding contact with any bone; if it reads 170°F (77°C), your turkey is done.
One way to boost the turkey flavour of your gravy is to simmer chicken broth with the turkey neck and giblets while your turkey is roasting. Skim off any scum and replenish with water as needed. Combine this turkey infused broth with your pan drippings and you'll have the best gravy in town.
Our experts answer reader questions about dropping the last 10 pounds—or more.
Question: I've heard that lifting weights helps the body burn calories even when you're not active. True or false? — Reiko
Answer: That's true. A lot of women prioritize cardio because they want to lose fat, but that burns calories only while you're exercising; as soon as you stop, you're no longer burning as much. Instead, lifting weights revs up your metabolism, so you'll continue burning calories for a few hours after your workout. And don't worry about bulking up; women don't have enough testosterone for that. But you will get leaner!
— Trudie German, certified personal trainer and owner of bodyenvy.ca, Toronto
Question: Is it possible I'm meant to be this big? I've been about the same size all my adult life, give or take a dress size. My mom and my sister are both size 14, and so were my grandmas. Maybe it's genetics? — Anne
Answer: Your genes do play a role, but it's more important to remember that size isn't really a good measure of health. If you're active, feeling good and sleeping and eating well, you probably don't have to worry. According to the World Health Organization, obesity is defined as "abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health." Of course, as you get heavier, there's a greater likelihood your health could be negatively impacted. But it's impossible for me to tell just by having you step on a scale; I have to do all sorts of tests to see if your weight really is affecting your health.
— Dr. Arya Sharma, founder of the Canadian Obesity Network and professor at the University of Alberta
Question: I'm injured and I can't work out. Is it still possible to lose weight? (Even if I'm eating my feelings about not being able to exercise?) — Katie
Answer: It's certainly possible! In fact, what you eat has more of an impact on your weight than exercise. You won't be able to work off extra calories, so be particularly mindful of other factors that influence weight, too, by getting enough sleep, finding ways to manage stress and choosing healthy whole foods in appropriate portions. And try these tricks: Serve vegetables family-style so they're within easy reach, but keep richer foods on the stovetop; use a smaller plate; and focus on your food—you're more likely to overindulge if you're distracted, so try not to eat in front of the TV, in the car or at your desk at work. Lastly, don't deny your hunger; eventually, it will backfire and you'll find yourself overeating or grabbing a convenient but unhealthy snack. People often think they have to cut back on food if they're going to lose weight, but I counsel my clients to eat more during the day. The idea isn't to willpower your way to weight loss; it's to make sustainable changes.
— Casey Berglund, registered dietitian and owner of worthyandwell.com, Calgary