Warning as 3 people in the UK tests positive for rare skin-blistering disease spread by cats | The Sun

A PAINFUL skin infection which is usually found in cats has been discovered in Britain for the first time.

The rare cat-transmitted bug had never been seen outside of South America. 

But now, at least three people in Britain have tested positive for the fungal infection called sporotrichosis brasiliensis, which causes wounds and ulcers on the body.  

The disease, which originates in cats, is spread to humans through a bite or scratch from an infected animal.

Government health chiefs believe all three people – a 64-year-old woman, her 30-year-old daughter and veterinarian in his late 20s – picked up the bug from the same cat.

The cat had come from Brazil, where the the bug is rife.

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Scientists from the UK Health Security Agency documented the British cases in the journal Medical Mycology Case Reports. 

Despite suffering cuts that left them seeking medical treatment, all three made a full recovery,

According to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), symptoms begin with small painless bumps under the skin near the part of the body exposed to the fungus.

The bumps will eventually grow larger and may look like an open sore or ulcer that is very slow to heal. 

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The infection, which is usually mild, can also affect the bones and joints.

And in severe cases can affect lungs and central nervous system.

It comes as experts warn fungal infections are becoming a a huge threat to public health.

Since the Covid pandemic, medics have noticed an increase in deadly fungal diseases among hospitalised patients.

Many fungal pathogens, including candida which causes common infections like vaginal thrush, are becoming increasingly resistant to treatment.

What are the symptoms of sporotrichosis brasiliensis?

The symptoms of sporotrichosis depend on where the fungus is growing in the body, the CDC states.

Sporotrichosis usually affects the skin or tissues underneath the skin and will show up as a red bump, open sore or ulcer.

In some cases, the bug can affect the lungs.

When this happens, people usually experience shortness of breath, chest pain, and fever.

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The fungus can also infect the joints causing joint pain that may be confused with rheumatoid arthritis. 

And it can affect the the central nervous system people can experience difficulty thinking, headache, and seizures.

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