Report within 24 hours of Diagnosis to the Local Health Department.

Psittacosis is an illness caused by the Chlamydophila psittaci bacteria.   Human infection usually occurs through inhaling the bacteria in dried bird droppings and feather dust. Other potential sources of exposure include bird bites, mouth-to-beak contact and handling feathers and tissues from infected birds. Even brief exposures can lead to infections and people with psittacosis may not recall or report having any contact with birds. The severity of the illness can range from mild to a severe illness with pneumonia. Symptoms include fever, headache, chills, weakness, nausea, muscle aches and dry cough. The onset of illness typically occurs 5 to 14 days after exposure to an infected bird, but longer periods of up to four weeks have been reported. Antibiotics are effective in treating psittacosis.

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Last Reviewed: 2/22/2021