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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Sick Birds Sold by National Distributor Appear in Connecticut and Washington First

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.

Stores may have sold diseased birds | Seattle Times Newspaper

Disease Information

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.

CDC Information on Chlamydophila psittaci

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.

Future articles will cover Mizuno golf Products.


AvianMaven said...

I hope this article allows everyone to be on the lookout for bizarre behavior coming from their birds so that they can seek medical attention in time. As an employee of Bird-X, Inc. a company that specializes in wild bird exclusion, I also hope this story raises awareness about the fact that avian diseases can spread to humans.

Because there has been so much press about Avian Flu people incorrectly assume that until the flu crosses species, there are no avian diseases that should worry people. In fact, birds can already transmit over 60 diseases to people. Some of these diseases can be fatal, such as histoplasmosis and Cryptococcus. Just like these pet birds transmit the diseases through their fecal matter, wild birds transmit other diseases to unsuspecting people through their droppings which then enter the respiratory tract. Please use caution around any droppings, even if they didn’t purchase an infected bird as a pet.

BrettBum said...

Thank you for your comments AvianMaven.

Its a good point that this is not the only illness that birds can pass on to humans.

I have had some experience raising birds a long time ago, and its my impression that this is not an uncommon disease itself, but to my knowledge this is one of the first cases I have heard of where national distribution of sick birds took place. (More typically birds are raised by local breeders and sometimes a nest of young birds will become sick with this illness and can then be treated with antibiotics by hand).