Humans get psittacosis from certain birds, including:
Some infected birds have symptoms, such as losing feathers, runny noses, runny eyes, change in eating habits, and diarrhea. Other birds appear well, but can still spread the infection to humans. People usually become infected from breathing in dust from the dried droppings or secretions of birds that are sick. The infection can also spread when a person touches his or her mouth to the beak of an infected bird. Even brief exposure to sick birds can lead to psittacosis. The infection rarely spreads from one person to another.
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition.
Risk factors for psittacosis include:
Owning a pet bird
Occupations with exposure to birds, including:
Poultry plant worker
The symptoms of psittacosis begin one to four weeks after exposure to a sick bird. Symptoms include:
—a test that uses radiation to take a picture of structures inside the body; can be used to look for pneumonia
The main treatment for psittacosis is antibiotics, which you should continue taking for 10 to 14 days after the fever is gone. If you have severe breathing problems, you may need to be hospitalized for oxygen and intravenous antibiotics.
You can take several steps to prevent psittacosis, including:
Avoid birds that appear to be sick.
Keep your mouth away from a bird’s beak.
Buy pet birds from a dealer with an exotic bird permit.
If you have two or more birds, keep their cages apart.
Keep new birds away from other birds for 4-6 weeks.
Clean bird cages, food bowls, and water bowls every day. Disinfect them once a week with bleach or rubbing alcohol.
If your bird appears to be sick, take it to a veterinarian promptly.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a