Psittacosis is an infectious disease that people get from birds infected with the bacteria Chlamydophila psittaci. Infected pet birds of the parrot family are the most common source of infection in people; however, turkeys, chickens, pigeons, and many other birds can be infected. Signs of infection in birds range from no symptoms to poor appetite, ruffled appearance, discharge from the eyes or nose, diarrhea, and death. People get the disease by breathing microscopic particles of dried bird droppings, or by handling infected birds. The symptoms in people are fever, headache, chills, cough, and sometimes pneumonia. Psittacosis is not spread person to person.
Maintaining pet birds in a healthful, clean, and stress-free environment will reduce the chance of Chlamydophila organisms being transmitted to people or other birds. Regular veterinary care is essential toward keeping pet birds healthy.