Psittacosis, also known as parrot fever, is a lung disease with fever, cough, and breathlessness caused by a bedsonia (Chlamydia psttaci), an organism intermediate between bacteria and viruses. It is carried by parrots, pigeons, domestic fowl, and related birds. Tetracyclines provide effective treatment, but any infected birds must be destroyed.



Common symptoms are severe headache, fever, and cough, developing a week or more after infection. Other symptoms include muscle pains, sore throat, nosebleed, lethargy, and depression. In some cases, breathing difficulty may also occur.


Diagnosis and treatment

A diagnosis of psittacosis is made by conformation of the presence of antibodies against Chlamydia psttaci in the blood. Treatment of the disease is with tetracycline antibiotic drugs. Without treatment, death may result.