By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Swedish Public Health Authority reported this week that dozens of psittacosis, or parrot fever cases have been reported in recent months.

Thick-billed Parrot

Since September 2019, some 40 cases of parrot disease have been reported, mainly from the regions of Västra Götaland, Stockholm and Jämtland. Three-quarters of the cases are men and are mainly people over 50 years of age.

Most of those who have become ill have come into contact with bird migration from wild birds, for example through the handling of bird tables and other outdoor activities.

During the early 2000s, only a handful of cases were reported during the winter season, but since the winter of 2012-2013, the number of reported cases has increased. This can be partly explained by changes in the diagnosis of the disease. In order for patients with pneumonia to be quickly diagnosed and given the right treatment, it is still important that health care professionals are aware of the presence of parrot disease.

Psittacosis is a disease caused by bacteria called Chlamydophila psittaci. It is usually transmitted by inhaling the agent from dried droppings or secretions of infected birds.

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Patients with psittacosis usually present fever, headache, rash, muscle pain, chills and dry cough. Pneumonia may sometimes occur, and occasional complications include encephalitis, myocarditis and thrombophlebitis.

The disease can be treated effectively with antibiotics. The disease is not normally transmitted from person to person.