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<respiratory medicine, disease> Psittacosis is primarily an infectious disease of birds caused by the bacterium Chlamydia psittaci. Transmission from infected birds results in a relatively rare febrile illness characterised by pneumonia and systemic symptoms. A flu-like illness can also occur. Almost any bird can harbor this bacterium in their excreta, tissues, feathers and secretions, but parrots, parakeets and budgerigars are the most common. Psittacosis is considered an occupational disease of pet shop owners. Psittacosis is almost always transmitted to humans by the respiratory route. Average incubation is 7-14 days.
(27 Sep 1997)
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