Parrots Dangerous to humans?

by zoe
(Cheshire, England)

I have recently read about the lady who was left paralysed by a brain disease she caught from a parrot. How safe are these birds??? I have 3 parrots and am now concerned for my kids safety. Can you get your parrot tested for Chlamydia psittacosis?
Many Thanks

Comments for Parrots Dangerous to humans?

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Jul 14, 2011
Parrots are safe
by: The Avian Vet

Birds are very safe. They need annual check ups to be sure they are healthy. They need a good diet and clean environment. Use paper on the bottom of the cage, not shavings or corn cob as these harbor disease. A test is available for Chlamydophila. Birds can carry this disease, but most often they show signs of illness if they are infected. It is very rare that a person contract this or any other disease from a pet bird. Children, elderly, and immunosupressed individuals are most susceptible. I recommend that if there is a problem, see an avian veterinarian immediately. If not, have your birds in for a wellness exam as soon as you can.

Dr B

Jul 14, 2011
Parrots Dangerous to humans?
by: Linda

Psittacosis is a disease where you will see some evidence of cold or flu like symptoms. It looks like a bad case of flu, and bird has to be tested for it to make sure of the diagnosis. The Fluorescent Antibody test is the one to have to test for this disease. Any bird you are thinking of getting needs to have a complete exam from an Avian Vet before bringing them home. This is for the bird's and your safety as well as that of any other birds in the home.

I've had psittacosis, and the doctors refused to hear me when I told them I worked with a baby Macaw who had been diagnosed with it. They treated me like I was demented. I took 4 bottles of antibiotics and was ready to be hospitalized as my lungs were covered with a thready white material that looked like cotton candy. Rib cartilidge was busted from coughing and breathing was almost impossible.Finally, an intern there gave the the proper, very expensive test for the disease, and it came out positive. He put me on loading dose of Doxycycline and within a week I was better. Tetracycline/Doxycycline are the only drugs that will hit this disease, so don't bother with anything else.

Have your bird examined by Avian Vet and worry more about learning to handle your bird safely than what diseases you can get. As far as I know Psittacosis is the only one communicable to humans, and it is communicable from human to bird as well. I had to mask up the whole time I had the disease to keep from giving it to my birds. I was the threat to their health and well being.

Thanks for writing,

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