Psittacosis is an infectious disease of birds. This disease may at times be transmitted to humans. It has been found in any number or bird species, especially parrots and parakeets. Pet-shop owners, poultry workers, zoo workers and veterinarians are at increased risk of contracting the disease from more frequent exposure. Psittacosis produces an acute illness, primarily affecting the lungs. It can range from mild to severe.
Causes of Psittacosis
Psittacosis is caused by the microorganism, Chlamydia psittaci. They disorder can be eliminated with the use of antibiotics. Psittacosis is found in psittacine birds (parrots, parakeets, lovebirds), poultry, pigeons, canaries and some sea birds. The organisms enter the human body by inhalation of air that contains the germ, or by a bite from an infected bird. Clinical symptoms develop 1-3 weeks after exposure to the disease.
Signs and Symptoms of Psittacosis
Symptoms of Psittacosis infection include fever and chills. Cough develops that usually does not produce significant amounts of sputum. Headache is quite common and more be severe. Muscles aches and pains are common. Shortness of breath and chest pain may develop. In untreated cases of this disorder, the symptoms may persist for several months.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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