Psittacosis (also called Ornithosis) occurs due to infection with Chlamydophila
psittaci , which is found most commonly in birds such as cockatiels, parrots
and lovebirds as well as other bird species such as ducks, turkeys and pigeons,
and less commonly in sheep. Cases are rare in the UK, but occur most commonly in
those exposed occupationally to birds or in owners of pet birds. In addition, Chlamydophila
is one of the major causes of infectious abortion in sheep in the UK and people
involved with sheep flocks at lambing time are at increased risk of exposure.
Main clinical features
Onset may be insidious or rapid, with fever, headache and general malaise followed
within a few days by a cough and, in some cases, pneumonia. Infection with sheep-associated
strains during pregnancy may result in late abortion, neonatal death and severe
septic shock in the mother.
Usually 5 – 15 days after exposure, but can be as long as 4 weeks.
Voluntary laboratory reports.
Annual Surveillance Tables