Psittacosis is an infection caused by Chlamydia psittaci, a type of bacteria found in the droppings of birds. Birds spread the infection to humans.


* Fever and chills * Muscle aches * Headache * Fatigue * Dry cough * Shortness of breath * Blood-tinged sputum


Psittacosis is a rare disease-- fewer than 50 cases have been reported in the United States in the past 5 years. Bird owners, pet shop employees, workers in poultry processing plants, and veterinarians are at increased risk for this infection.


Avoid exposure to birds that may carry this bacteria, such as imported parakeets. Treat any medical problems that lead to a weak immune system, which increases your risk for this disease.


Abnormal lung sounds such as rales and decreased breath sounds are heard when listening to the chest with a stethoscope. Tests include: * X-ray of the chest * CT scan of the chest * Blood gas * Sputum culture * Blood culture (grows chlamydia) * Antibody titer


Full recovery is expected.


The infection is treated with antibiotics, including: * Tetracycline * Doxycycline * Erythromycin * Azithromycin * Rifampin Note: Tetracycline by mouth is usually not prescribed for children until after all their permanent teeth have started to grow in. The medicine can permanently discolor teeth that are still forming.


Alternative Names : Ornithosis; Chlamydia psittaci