Urgent warning: “Parrot fever” sweeps Europe and kills 5 people Urgent warning: “Parrot fever” sweeps Europe and kills 5 people

Urgent warning: “Parrot fever” sweeps Europe and kills 5 people

Urgent warning: “Parrot fever” sweeps Europe and kills 5 people

Five people have died in Europe as a result of an outbreak of bird chlamydia (parrot fever), which has alarmed health officials.
"Parrot fever" is known as a respiratory disease caused by the bacterium Chlamydophila psittaci, which can infect people who are exposed to infected birds.

Infected birds do not always show signs of the disease, and sick birds may lose their appetite, have inflamed eyes, and suffer from breathing difficulties and diarrhea.

Infection usually occurs through inhalation of airborne bacteria from bird feces, feather dust, or respiratory secretions. Studies show that human-to-human transmission of the disease is possible but rare.

World Health Organization (WHO) officials issued an urgent alert about an "unusual" high number of human cases of "parrot fever" in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark and Sweden.

Surveillance data shows that infection rates of "parrot fever" are about seven times higher than expected in Austria.

This "flu-like" disease is caused by a type of "chlamydia" (a common sexually transmitted infection)  widespread among birds. It differs from the strain responsible for sexually transmitted diseases in humans, and is not spread through sexual contact.

"Parrot fever" causes mild symptoms such as headache and cough, and can lead to severe pneumonia and meningitis in severe cases.

The World Health Organization said: “Although birds carrying this disease can cross international borders, there is currently no indication that this disease is spread by humans at the national or international level. In general, people do not spread the causative bacteria.” "Parrot fever spreads among each other, so there is a low possibility of human-to-human transmission of the disease. If this pathogen is correctly diagnosed, it can be treated with antibiotics."

Officials urged owners of pet birds, which are most at risk, to keep cages clean and avoid overcrowding.

The World Health Organization said workers who have regular contact with potentially infected birds should maintain good hand hygiene.

There is no evidence that the bacteria is spread by preparing or eating poultry, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The World Health Organization said that in most recent cases, people were directly exposed to infected domestic or wild birds.

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