Psittacosis is a rare bacterial infection of the respiratory tract that primarily affects birds but can also cause disease in humans. Infection is acquired by inhaling dried secretions from infected birds. Although all birds are susceptible to psittacosis, pet birds (parrots, parakeets, macaws, and cockatiels) and poultry (turkeys and ducks) are most frequently involved in transmission to humans. Humans infected with psittacosis generally develop fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and a dry cough 1 to 3 weeks after contact with ill birds. Pneumonia is often evident on chest x-ray. Diagnosis is challenging, but the disease can be successfully treated with antibiotics.
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