Fast Facts You Need to Know about Psittacosis
Psittacosis and the bacteria that cause it have gone by many names.
- 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.
While psittacosis is fairly rare in the United States, it is thought to be underreported. It can also cause large outbreaks.
- 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.
- A large pandemic of psittacosis in 1929 and 1930 affected about 800 people around the world, including people in the United States.
There are steps people can take to help protect themselves from psittacosis if they own or work with pet birds or poultry.
- Control Chlamydia psittaci infection among birds.
- Follow precautions when handling and cleaning birds and cages.
Page last reviewed: March 17, 2022
Content source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases