Signs and Symptoms
In general, psittacosis causes mild illness. The most common symptoms include:
- Fever and chills
- Muscle aches
- Dry cough
Psittacosis can also cause pneumonia (a lung infection) that may require treatment or care in a hospital. Rarely, psittacosis can result in death.
Most people begin developing signs and symptoms within 5 to 14 days after exposure to the bacteria (Chlamydia psittaci). Less commonly, people report symptoms starting after 14 days.
The signs of C. psittaci infection in birds are non-specific and include:
- Poor appetite
- Inflamed eyes
- Breathing difficulty
Infected birds may not have symptoms or seem sick. When birds have symptoms caused by C. psittaci infection, veterinarians call the disease avian chlamydiosis.
- Balsamo G, Maxted AM, Midla JW, et al. Compendium of measures to control Chlamydia psittaci infection among humans (psittacosis) and pet birds (avian chlamydosis), 2017Cdc-pdfExternal. J Avian Med Surg. 2017;31(3):262–82.
- Beeckman DSA, Vanrompay DCG. Zoonotic Chlamydophila psittaci infections from a clinical perspectiveExternal. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2009;15(1):11–7.