Home Medizin Papageienfieber-Ausbruch in Europa tötet 5: Erfahren Sie alles über Psittakose

Papageienfieber-Ausbruch in Europa tötet 5: Erfahren Sie alles über Psittakose

von NFI Redaktion

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an outbreak of Psittacosis infection, a bacterial respiratory infection known as Parrot Fever, has claimed five lives in five European countries.

The global health authority reported a sudden increase in Psittacosis infections last year, with the disease continuing to persist and spread in Europe.

„In February 2024, Austria, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands reported an increase in Psittacosis cases through the Early Warning and Response System (EWRS) of the European Union, which was observed in 2023 and early 2024 and has since become particularly pronounced. Additionally, five deaths were reported,“ the WHO said in a press release.

Psittacosis infection is caused by the bacterium Chlamydophila psittaci, which commonly infects companion birds like parrots and cockatiels as well as poultry like turkeys and ducks. While rare, humans can become infected with the disease through the secretions of infected birds, leading to mild infections or, in some cases, pneumonia.

While there is a possibility of infected birds crossing international borders, the WHO stated that there is currently no evidence of the disease being transmitted from person to person, neither within national borders nor internationally.

„In general, humans do not transmit the bacteria that cause Psittacosis to other people, so the likelihood of further transmission of the disease from person to person is low,“ the press release stated.

Signs of Parrot Fever:

In most cases, a mild infection develops with symptoms such as fever and chills, headaches, muscle aches, and dry cough. Symptoms typically start within one to two weeks after contact with the bacteria.

Psittacosis is often underdiagnosed as the symptoms resemble those of many other respiratory diseases and tests for direct detection of the bacteria may not be readily available.

While most individuals properly treated for Psittacosis fully recover, some may experience severe complications, including pneumonia, endocarditis, hepatitis, and inflammation of the nerves or brain leading to neurological issues. However, with appropriate antibiotic treatment, mortality is rare and occurs in less than 1 out of 100 cases.

Who is at risk?

Psittacosis can affect people of all ages, but is more commonly reported in adults. Individuals at higher risk include bird owners, aviary and pet store workers, poultry workers, and veterinarians, especially those with regular bird contact.

Once infected with Psittacosis, individuals do not develop immunity to the bacteria and can therefore become infected again.

Transmission:

Infected birds may not show symptoms of the disease, but they can shed the bacteria through their droppings and respiratory secretions even without signs of infection. This dried droppings release dust particles, including bacteria, into the air. People can become infected by inhaling this dust or, in rare cases, through bites and beak-to-mouth contact. Psittacosis is not transmitted to humans through the preparation or consumption of poultry.

Prevention:

The first step in prevention is controlling the infection in birds. Following certain simple steps such as keeping cages clean, avoiding overcrowding, and isolating infected birds can be helpful in infection control. When cleaning bird cages, it is recommended to moisten surfaces with water first. Avoid dry sweeping or vacuuming to prevent the spread of feathers and dust. Using personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves and masks when cleaning cages and maintaining proper hand hygiene can help reduce the risk.

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