What is parrot fever?

7 June 2017
Comments: 0
7 June 2017, Comments: 0

Parrot fever is an uncommon condition brought about by Chlamydia psittaci. As the name implies, the disease is acquired from birds. Remember though that parrots are not the only culprits since other wild and domesticated birds can also carry the infection and pass it to humans.

The condition is usually present anywhere birds are kept as pets or in large populations such as in poultry farms. In addition, it is also common in tropical or warm environments.

How can I acquire the disease?

In most instances, humans acquire parrot fever from birds including:

  • Chickens
  • Parrots
  • Pigeons
  • Turkeys
    parrot-fever

    Among humans, the disease is the same as the flu or pneumonia. The symptoms typically start around 10 days after exposure but can take up to 4 days or even 19 days to arise.

  • Ducks
  • Cockatiels
  • Parakeets

One can acquire parrot fever from handling an infected bird or inhaling fine particles from the feces, urine or other bodily excretions. An individual can also become infected if an infected bird bites or touches its beak to the mouth.

Acquiring the disease from an infected individual is also possible, but considered rare. This can occur if fine droplets sprayed into the air while coughing has been inhaled.

What are the indications of parrot fever?

Among humans, the disease is the same as the flu or pneumonia. The symptoms typically start around 10 days after exposure but can take up to 4 days or even 19 days to arise.

Take note that parrot fever has several symptoms that might be linked with the flu such as:

  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Fever and chills
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Dry cough

Other possible symptoms that might arise include shortness of breath, chest pain and light sensitivity.

Management

Parrot fever is managed using antibiotics such as doxycycline and tetracycline. Young children are usually given azithromycin.

Once a diagnosis is given, antibiotics are given to be taken for 10-14 days after the fever settles. Many individuals who are treated can fully recover. Nevertheless, the recovery might be slow among the elderly, young children or those who have current health issues.

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