Bird owners should be aware that although their pets might be highly intelligent and fun companions, they can sometimes carry germs that can make people sick. Although rare, germs from birds can cause a variety of illnesses in people, ranging from minor skin infections to serious illnesses.
What diseases can humans get from birds?
Disease in humans may present as cellulitis, bacteremia, endocarditis, encephalitis, and arthritis. Ornithosis, also known as psittacosis, parrot fever and avian chlamydiosis is a bacterial disease caused by Chlamydophila psittaci and is found in parrots, parakeets, turkeys, geese, ducks, pigeons and other birds.
Can I get sick from touching a bird?
You can get sick from touching a wild bird or something in its environment, such as a bird feeder or bird bath, and then touching your mouth or face with unwashed hands. Wild birds can carry Salmonella germs and still appear healthy and clean.
Can you get sick from handling birds?
Salmonella can be transmitted to people who handle sick or dead birds. Always wear disposable gloves when handling infected birds, and wash your hands after touching a bird feeder or birdbath.
What are the symptoms of psittacosis in humans?
What are the symptoms of psittacosis and when do they appear? In humans, the symptoms are fever, headache, chills, muscle pains, cough, and sometimes breathing difficulty or pneumonia. If left untreated, the disease can be severe, and even result in death, especially in older people.