Parrot fever outbreak claims lives of 5 in Europe: What is it

Connie Queline

Parrot fever outbreak claims lives of 5 in Europe: What is it

NEW DELHI: A deadly outbreak of parrot fever in Europe has claimed lives of five people since the start of this year, World Health Organization said on Tuesday.
The infection caused by bacteria in Chlamydia family, also known as psittacosis, was initially reported last year.
The bacteria found in a range of wild and pet birds and animals. Infected birds do not usually appear sick, but they expel the bacteria when they breathe or poop, CNN reported.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, humans usually contract parrot fever by inhaling dust from an infected bird’s secretions.
People can also become ill if a bird bites them or makes beak-to-mouth contact. The disease does not spread through eating affected animals.
Most individuals who contract parrot fever experience a mild sickness that develops five to 14 days after being exposed to a sick bird and can include a headache, muscle soreness, a dry cough, fever, and chills. Antibiotics can treat the infection, and it is rarely lethal to humans.
Austria, which generally sees two instances of this disease every year, has recorded 14 confirmed cases in 2023 and four more this year up of March 4.
Further, Denmark had 23 confirmed cases reported till February 27, of which 4 have died and 17 have hospitalized and 15 had pneumonia.
Germany reported 5 confirmed cases of parrot fever this year. There were 14 such cases reported in 2023. Almost all of the victims had pneumonia, and 16 were hospitalized.
Sweden has witnessed an increase in number of parrot fever cases since 2017, with 13 cases this year.
The Netherlands, which reports 9 such cases every years on an average, experienced a surge with 21 reported from late December to February 29 It is twice as many as in previous years, according to WHO.
WHO has said it will continue to monitor the situation in the affected nations, advising pet bird owners to practice good hygiene. SOURCE

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