Psittacosis (sometimes called ornithosis or parrot disease or parrot fever) is an infection of the lung (pneumonia) caused by the bacterium Chlamydophila (Chlamydia). The bacterium is carried by both wild and domestic birds, which often show no sign of disease.
People who have close contact with birds, such as parrot breeders pet shop employees, pet owners, poultry farm workers, abattoir workers, veterinarians (vets) and individuals who live near high density native bird populations are at increased risk.
Infection is caused by inhaling the dust from dried bird faeces or dry eye and nasal secretions from infected birds.
Symptoms of Psittacosis may be often associated with the flu (flu-like) and include:
- fever and chills
- nausea and vomiting
- muscle and joint pain
- cough, typically dry
- abrupt onset of headache
Thankfully, the disease is uncommon in commercial poultry flocks. There have been reported cases in cattle, sheep, horses, cats and dogs. If the infection is contracted, treatment involves specific and effective antibiotic therapy.
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References used for Psittacosis page
Last updated: 6th February, 2018