After experiencing fever, chills, and intense night sweats for five days, a 23-year-old man from Belgium finally made his way to the ER.
There, he told the staff he was also feeling intense pain in his lower back and pelvis, as well as in his penis and testicles, too. What’s more, he was losing weight, it hurt to pee, and he was also struggling with erectile dysfunction, as doctors reported in BMJ Case Reports
When they examined him, they noticed his lymph nodes were swollen under his left armpit. Blood tests showed elevated levels of a marker of inflammation called C-reactive protein, abdominal ultrasound showed an enlarged spleen, and a PET-CT scan showed enlarged lymph nodes in his abdomen, too. That made the doctors fear he had late-stage lymphoma, a cancer of your white blood cells that can cause night sweats, unintentional weight loss, and swollen lymph nodes. (Here are 5 man-killing cancers you might not spot until it’s too late.)
But bone marrow aspiration and biopsy came back normal—ruling out cancer—and blood tests for diseases like hepatitis, syphilis, and HIV came back negative, too.
Then, doctors tested the bone marrow and lymph nodes from biopsy for Bartonella henselae, a type of bacteria that cats can harbor. When the doctors asked him about it, the man told them he did have a cat at home—and he had been scratched recently.
The diagnosis? Invasive cat scratch disease. Doctors treated him with an antibiotic called tetracycline twice a day for three weeks. His symptoms disappeared, and he fully recovered his erectile function.
SOURCE: Mens Health