- ► 2008 (159)
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- ▼ December (10)
Sick birds sold as pets in stores that include PetSmart have been identified by state agencies from Connecticut and Washington. The reports came out on December 28th and it is likely that more reports will follow as the distributor of the birds was a national distributor that has not yet publicly been named despite the naming of some of its retail customers.
The Birds carry a disease that can be transmitted to humans, however this is not the notorious 'bird flu.'
It is unclear what kind of birds were infected or sold by PetSmart, but the disease is most often found in cockatiels, cockatoos, parrots and parakeets, according to the news release.
PetSmart has removed all the birds supplied by the vendor and is treating its sick and exposed birds with antibiotics, according to the news release. Customers who bought birds from the store will be receiving letters informing them of the potential for the disease.
Avian chlamydiosis is caused by a type of bacterium called Chlamydophila psittaci, which is frequently found in birds, but does not cause the disease as frequently.
Sick birds experience loss of appetite, coughing, nasal discharge, sneezing, lethargy and diarrhea. The birds most vulnerable to the disease are psittacine species including cockatiels, cockatoos, parrots and parakeets.
Humans can develop psittacosis after inhaling dust from dried bird droppings, respiratory secretions and dust from feathers of infected birds. The symptoms of the disease in humans include fever, headache, chills, coughing and muscle aches. The symptoms, often mild, develop within 5 to 19 days of infection. Antibiotics are often used to treat the disease.
This event has not yet triggered a recall and no people have been diagnosed with the illness yet, but this is the early breaking of the story and more reports are likely to provide more information soon.
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