Psittacosis

Monday, October 22, 2012

Also known as parrot fever, Psittacosis is an infectious disease triggered by Chlamydia psittaci, a small bacterium measuring 0.5 micrometers. It is transmitted to humans from parrots and other birds by inhalation or ingestion of tiny microdroplets of contaminated fluid. Psittacosis affects the lungs and bronchi, causing pneumonia. After a 5-to-14-day incubation period, the disease breaks out with the first symptoms, which include high fever, chills, diarrhea, conjunctivitis, arthralgias, difficulty in breathing, etc. It can be fatal if not treated. Treatment consists of doses of antibiotics, such as tetracycline, doxycycline, and penicillin.