Preventing Psittacosis

Key points

  • People can get psittacosis more than once.
  • There's no vaccine to prevent psittacosis.
  • There are things people can do to protect themselves if they own or work with birds.
  • People can also take steps to protect birds they care for from infection.
A man cleans a bird cage

Prevention steps and strategies

Wash your hands

Handwashing is one of the best ways you can protect yourself from getting sick with psittacosis. Thoroughly wash your hands with running water and soap after you touch

  • Birds
  • Their droppings
  • Items in their cages
Keep Reading: About Handwashing

Be safe when handling and cleaning birds and cages

  • Use water or disinfectant to wet surfaces and cages before cleaning.
  • Avoid dry sweeping or vacuuming, which can put dust in the air.
  • Use gloves and appropriate masks with infected birds and their cages.
Overhead shot of a pet cage parts on the ground separated for cleaning.
Use water or disinfectant to wet surfaces before cleaning bird cages.

Prevention in animals

Help control infection among birds with the following steps:

  • Avoid over-crowding.
  • Do not stack cages on top of each other.
  • Isolate and treat infected birds.
  • Keep cages clean; clean cages and food and water bowls daily.
  • Use solid-sided cases or barriers if cages are next to each other.