This disease can affect both birds and humans . Not only bird flu that can be transmitted to humans by birds.
It is also called psittacosis , because initially , the disease was diagnosed in Psittaciforms (birds of the parrot family ) . Now we know that most birds can be affected. Formerly , the disease was known as chlamydia ( but not like the sexually transmitted infection ) , but recent research has led to better classification of this bacterium. It is now known under the name of Chlamydophila psittaci .
This is a fairly common disease in birds , mainly in parrots : from the little budgie, the cockatoo or the big macaw.
Signs demonstrated by a bird suffering from chlamydophilosis are not typical and can be confused with several avian diseases :
The bird will often be ruffled .
Sometimes it has nasal secretions.
It often has a greenish diarrhea.
It presents a generalized weakness.
It can even show neurological signs .
Untreated , this disease has a fairly high mortality rate.
Birds that are more likely to have this disease are especially recently imported or come from unclear origins. However, birds carrying Chlamydophila can be discovered in birds from local breeders .
Interestingly , some birds can carry the bacteria without showing any signs. Under certain conditions that could be described as stressful such as prolonged cool temperature, travel , overpopulation in an aviary , etc. . , These birds will begin to shed the bacteria intermittently in their respiratory secretions or their droppings.
The disease can be transmitted to humans by direct contact with feces and nasal secretions or even breathing dust from drying droppings.
Humans with this disease may be very ill. Between 1988 and 2002, the CDC ( Center for Disease Control ) in Atlanta has identified 923 human cases and the majority of these cases resulted from exposure to pet birds .
Although this disease is treatable for humans and birds, it is wise to follow preventative measures.
There are now very effective laboratory tests , which allow your veterinarian to detect carriers of this disease. All new birds should pass this test . In addition, any new bird that needs to be introduced in existing collection should always be quarantined for a period of at least 45 days and should be tested.
If ever this disease is diagnosed in your bird, do not panic! Treatment with antibiotics will be prescribed by your veterinarian. This treatment is usually longer ( about 45 days) than when treating routine bacterial infections in dogs and cats. Your vet will also advise you on hygiene measures to follow .
But in addition to taking care of your bird, without delay , you should also consult your family doctor.