Parrots, as well as some other pet birds, can carry diseases such as chlamydiosis psittacosis – parrot fever. This is contagious to other humans, but, as long as a doctor is informed and the problem is dealt with swiftly, there should be no need for a human to get rid of his parrot.
The disease is caused by the bacterial organism “Chlamydia psittaci”. Humans can often breathe this in from parrots’ fecal matter, urine, saliva and feather dust. Many birds just carry the disease without showing the symptoms, making it very hard to tell.
In birds, overt symptoms include diarrhoea, eye/nose discharge, lack of appetite and a generally ruffled appearance. You will need to take a bird to the vet immediately because even if it isn’t parrot fever, it’s something else. Humans who catch parrot fever will have flu-like symptoms – fever, coughing, headaches and difficulty breathing. Some people can even develop pneumonia in very serious cases. People with weakened immune systems are most at risk. Blood testing is necessary to diagnose parrot fever.
Usually doctors provide tetracycline and antibiotics. The treatment lasts about three weeks. Birds also receive antibiotics but the course is longer, at 7 weeks.
The only thing you can do to avoid getting parrot fever or your bird getting parrot fever is to make sure that all cages and bowls are cleaned thoroughly and regularly.