Psittacosis – Chile

A veterinarian has been infected with Psittacosis (called ornithosis after it infected humans) during her work with cattle at a dairy company in Santiago, Chile.

The 28 year old woman suffers from Ornithosis, a disease caused by the zoonotic bacterium Chlamydophila psittaci. At first, officials suspected a Q fever infection, but tests confirmed that it is indeed Psittacosis. Transmissions occur from animals (often birds but also mammals like cattle) to humans; thus the woman’s position as a veterinarian is the suspected point of infection.

The woman is hospitalized and ventilated with severe conditions, which can include flu-like symptoms up to pneumonia.

Photo: Mouse brain smear reveals the presence of the bacterium Chlamydia psittaci. 400x

Psittacosis, also known as parrot fever, is a zoonotic infectious disease in humans caused by a bacterium called Chlamydia psittaci and contracted from infected parrots, such as macaws, cockatiels, and budgerigars, and from pigeons, sparrows, ducks, hens, gulls and many other species of birds.

In humans, after an incubation period of 5–19 days, the symptoms of the disease range from unapparent illness to systemic illness with severe pneumonia.

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