Warning About Dangerous Parrot Fever Outbreak, Several Test Positive

2020 really isn’t going to let us catch a break, sigh.

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Warning About Dangerous Parrot Fever Outbreak, Several Test Positive

Warning About Dangerous Parrot Fever Outbreak, Several Test Positive

Health officials have sent out a warning not to touch wild birds after three people tested positive in the Blue Mountains region for parrot fever, or psittacosis – and yes, I’d never heard of parrot fever before either.

The health warning is targeted towards people in Blue Moutains and Lithgow, NSW – so it’s a pretty small circle so far. Humans can be exposed to the rare bacterial infection through interaction with infected birds and their droppings. 

The seriousness of parrot fever varies pretty wildly some people only experience regular cold-like symptoms, where other people can end up in hospital with severe pneumonia and be out of commission for weeks. It’s treatable with antibiotics, so don’t worry, this def isn’t going to be a coronavirus 2.0.

Symptoms in humans could appear from five to 28 days after exposure, and could vary from a mild flu-like illness to severe pneumonia requiring hospitalization, according to the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District (NBMLHD).

Older people could experience more severe symptoms, but the disease was treatable with antibiotics.

Early symptoms of psittacosis infection include fever, headaches, muscle aches and dry cough, and may progress to severe difficulty breathing. The disease can be treated with antibiotics but some cases require hospitalization. 

Parrots or pigeons are probably the two species that most commonly carry it, that we know of, but it can affect any bird and also poultry,” Dr Gelis said.

Sometimes they can be totally asymptomatic, so they look totally normal, and at other times it can kill them. New bird owners should have a quarantine period for the animals and get them checked by avian veterinarians, he said.

Can humans get parrot fever?

Humans can be exposed to the rare bacterial infection through interaction with infected birds and their droppings. Some people only experience regular cold-like symptoms, where other people can end up in hospital with severe pneumonia and be out of commission for weeks.

What are the symptoms of psittacosis in birds?

Psittacosis infected birds are asymptomatic (show no symptoms) until they are stressed and then it causes puffy and swollen eyes (conjunctivitis), lethargy, anorexia, and weight loss, fluffed feathers, nasal discharge, and an enlarged liver. It can also cause diarrhea and respiratory issues in some species of birds

Can you die from parrot fever?

It’s treatable with antibiotics, so don’t worry, this def isn’t going to be a coronavirus 2.0.

Can I get sick from touching a bird?

There are a few mediums in which you can catch a disease from a bird, They are: Inhaling – When bird droppings dry and become disturbed, any diseases living in the faces can become airborne. Touching Dead birds can play hosts to range of harmful bacteria, fungi, and viruses.

How common is parrot fever?

United States has seen fewer than 10 human cases of parrot fever each year since 2010. Since early April 2020, three residents in the Blue Mountains and Lithgow have been diagnosed with it.

What kind of diseases can you get from a bird pet?

Symptoms include fever, cough, and fatigue. Psittacosis is a disease caused by bacteria spread through the droppings and respiratory secretions of infected birds.

Illnesses associated with pet birds:
Psittacosis.
Histoplasmosis.
Cryptococcosis.