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'Parrot flu': a member of the infected family died of pneumonia in Rafaela


He is a 40-year-old man who was hospitalized for 10 days. Another family member continues in intensive care and two have already been discharged.

At the end of January, a family was hospitalized in the Santa Fe city of Rafaela affected by a picture of

bilateral pneumonia

derived from psittacosis, also called

"parrot flu"

, a disease that they would have contracted from a bird of this species that one of the patients brought home a few days before the first symptoms appeared.

In the last hours,

one of the four infected died.

The victim was identified as

Fernando Defagot, 40 years old


After 10 days of hospitalization at the Jaime Ferré de Rafaela hospital, he died due to a picture of

bilateral pneumonia

caused by the disease transmitted by birds such as parrots, health spokesmen reported.

The man was admitted at the end of January along with three relatives, all affected by a picture of pneumonia that the doctors attributed to psittacosis.

One of the family members declared that days before they had taken a parrot that they found in the area to the house they shared in the Barranquitas neighborhood, some 100 kilometers west of the capital of Santa Fe, which later died.

Two of the people admitted suffered a mild respiratory disease, for which they received a medical discharge days ago.

The rest, meanwhile,

continues to be admitted

to intensive care for the same ailment.

The appearance of this case generated

concern in the authorities

, since in Rafaela there is a large presence of these animals, both free and raised in family homes as pets.

However, psittacosis is not transmitted from person to person.

In this regard, the Ministry of Health of the Nation recommends, especially those who live with birds, to pay attention to the appearance of respiratory symptoms, as well as to clean the cage

in which the species live


and not to stay in rooms for long periods of time. closed where there are birds.

In addition,

it is not advisable to buy or take birds from the public road

that could be potential transmitters of the disease.

What is psittacosis​ or "parrot flu"

Psittacosis is a disease that is transmitted through birds.

It is an infectious disease that affects numerous domestic and wild species of birds, both psittacines (parrots, parakeets, parakeets and parrots) and non-psittacine (pigeons, goldfinches and canaries).

At the same time, contagion in humans can cause serious complications, as in the case of Rafaela's family.

It is a pathology of

mandatory notification

by veterinarians and private laboratories or national organizations, such as INTA.

It can be

transmitted by birds

through dried droppings, respiratory secretions, dust, feathers, eye secretions and even by simply touching them.

Psittacosis is caused by the bacterium Chlamydophila psittaci.

When they get sick, the birds shed the bacteria into the environment through secretions that, when dried,

remain in the air and are breathed in by people

, who thus become infected.

Picture and treatment

According to specialists, the clinical picture in people can vary between an

infection without apparent symptoms

or evolve into pneumonia, which begins with symptoms such as fever, headache, general weakness, fatigue and tiredness, while after 24 or 48 hours dry cough and shortness of breath begin.

Infected birds may be apparently healthy or show symptoms such as weakness, conjunctivitis, diarrhoea, respiratory distress and death.

For this reason, the authorities recommend that, when possible manifestations of psittacosis are detected in captive birds, a quick consultation with a veterinarian should be carried out.

This, in addition to preventing close contact with possibly infected birds, activates

an alert network

to prevent the spread of the disease.

The pictures can be more serious in

older people or those who suffer from comorbidities


And the treatments with antibiotics, in which cases in which the infection did not lead to serious illness, are with administration of antibiotics for 14 days.

With information from Telam


look also

"Parrot flu": what it is and how to prevent psittacosis, which caused four hospitalizations in Santa Fe

A family was infected with a parrot and there are four hospitalized for psittacosis in Rafaela

Source: clarin

All life articles on 2023-02-07

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