Worms & Germs Blog

Tag Archives: psittacosis

Bird bugs, horse abortions and sick vet students

Posted in Birds, Horses
When I talk about infection control (or infectious diseases, in general), I emphasize the need to avoid tunnel vision. Sometimes, we run into situations where someone says “that animal tested negative for [name your bug], so we don’t have anything to worry about.” Well, no. It means you (probably) don’t have to worry about that… Continue Reading

Psittacosis from a horse

Posted in Horses, Other diseases
I’ve had this paper from One Health (Chan et al 2017) on my “to blog” pile for a while, since it’s an interesting story. Like any case report, it’s a bit of an oddball infection, and not likely indicative of a major or new risk. However, there are often a few good general take-home messages from… Continue Reading

Psittacosis in a pet store worker

Posted in Birds
Following up on yesterday’s post about a bird-and-fish-associated infection, this next story also involves a pet bird, but with a much worse outcome. It involves a young woman who developed a very serious case of psittacosis linked to her job in a pet store. Psittacosis is a bacterial disease caused by Chlamydophila psittaci, a bacterium… Continue Reading

Psittacosis closure at Atlanta zoo

Posted in Birds
Zoo Atlanta has closed its parakeet exhibit after one of the birds died of Chlamydophila psittaci infection. The concern is that this bacterium can cause infection in people (sometimes called parrot fever). Infection of humans is uncommon and usually just causes flu-like disease, but it can be very serious, especially if not diagnosed properly in… Continue Reading

Record settlement for pet store-associated infection

Posted in Birds
An Irish woman has won a record, multi-million Euro settlement after developing severe disease while working at a pet store. Patricia Ingle was a healthy 19-year-old when she was working in a Limerick, Ireland pet store. Then she developed psittacosis, an infection caused by the bacterium Chlamydophila psittaci, which she most likely contracted from a… Continue Reading

Psittacosis outbreak from a bird fair

Posted in Birds
A paper in Epidemiology and Infection (Belchior et al 2011) describes an outbreak of psittacosis (Chlamydophila psittaci infection) in people who attended a bird fair in western France in 2008. The investigation started off with the identification of the bird-associated disease in three people at a local hospital. All three were hospitalized with respiratory disease,… Continue Reading

Psittacosis (parrot fever) in Taipei

Posted in Birds
A 44-year-old Taipei man is recovering from psittacosis, a potentially severe infection caused by the bacterium Chlamydophila psittaci, which he may have contracted from his pet bird. This bacterium is commonly found in certain bird species, particularly psittacines (parrot family), and human infections are typically associated with bird contact. Healthy birds can shed the bacterium… Continue Reading

Pet bird linked to human infection?

Posted in Birds
A UK woman is both grieving the loss of her husband and battling illness she thinks came from a new pet parrot. The 67-year-old woman, who has chronic lymphocytic leukemia, obtained the bird to keep her company as her husband was dying of cancer. She says that she’s never felt right since she obtained the… Continue Reading

Fatal psittacosis in a parrot owner

Posted in Birds
A 62-yr-old Italian woman has died from psittacosis, an infection caused by the bacterium Chlamydophila psittaci. Sometimes called "parrot fever," psittacosis is an uncommon but important disease linked to contact with birds, particularly psittacines (e.g. parrots, parakeets, cockatiels). In people, C. psittaci usually causes flu-like respiratory disease, but severe pneumonia and encephalitis (inflammation of the… Continue Reading

Doctors, pets and vets

Posted in Birds, Cats, Dogs
Over 50% of households in Canada and the US have pets, and the numbers are probably similar in many other countries. Pets are often considered part of the family socially but we need to consider them part of the family biologically as well. It’s clear that diseases that be transmitted between people and pets –… Continue Reading

Suspected psittacosis in a pet shop worker

Posted in Birds, Other diseases
People that work with animals are at increased risk for certain infectious diseases. That’s pretty clear. Pet shop employees fit into this group as well, and they may be at particular risk for specific diseases because of their close contact with young animals, birds, rodents and reptiles. A suspected case of psittacosis in a Toronto… Continue Reading

Smuggling Psittacosis

Posted in Birds
As an illustration of some of the points made in the recent Worms&Germs post on animal smuggling, an outbreak of psittacosis was recently reported in Russia, which has been linked to illegally imported decorative birds.  Since December 30, 21 cases of psittacosis have been reported in the Petuhovsky district of the Kurgan region.  The source… Continue Reading

Pet store sued over bird owner death

Posted in Birds
Once again, a pet store is being sued following a death related to a pet sold at the store. Earlier, we reported a pet store being sued by a woman whose husband died of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus. Now, a pet store is being sued after a man died of psittacosis. This disease is caused by… Continue Reading


Posted in Birds
The National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians (NASPHV)  has recently released a comprehensive document about psittacosis. This is a disease of people caused by the bacterium Chlamydophila psittaci (formerly known as Chlamydia psittaci). Psittacosis usually causes flu-like disease but can cause severe pneumonia and other problems. Chlamydophila psittaci is most commonly carried by healthy… Continue Reading