Fast Facts

  • A doctor in Europe first described psittacosis as a human disease in 1879.
  • A large pandemic of psittacosis in 1929 and 1930 affected about 800 people around the world, including people in the United States.
  • Chlamydia psittaci bacteria can infect people and cause psittacosis. Up until recently, scientists called the bacteria Chlamydophila psittaci.
  • Some people refer to psittacosis as parrot disease or parrot fever, but the bacteria can infect many types of birds.
  • Since 2010, there have typically been fewer than 10 cases reported in the United States each year. However, in 2018, a multistate psittacosis outbreak among poultry plant workers had 13 laboratory confirmed cases.


Page last reviewed: August 22, 2019