Psittacosis is a bacterial zoonosis in humans caused by the pathogen Chlamydia psittaci. The disease is transmitted to humans from infected birds such as parrots, macaws, parakeets, or turkeys. The most common way someone gets infected is by breathing in the dust from dried secretions of infected birds. Less commonly, birds infect people through bites and beak-to-mouth contact. Consequently, bird owners, pet shop employees, and veterinarians are more frequently at risk. Most infections are associated with mild, non-specific flu-like symptoms. In some cases, a more severe pneumonia may occur.

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For questions about disease surveillance contact public health.

Epidemiology Main Line:  (404) 657-2588

Fax:  (404) 657-2608

24/7 Reporting Line:  1-866-PUB-HLTH (+1 866-782-4584)

Page last updated 12/21/2022