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      Part of series 1 of the CDC Museum set of Infectious disease trading cards, featuring photos and information about some of the infectious diseases that CDC studies.

      Psittacosis (SIT-uh-koh-sis), sometimes called “parrot fever,” is a disease spread from birds to humans. You can get psittacosis by breathing in dried droppings or discharge (oozing from the eyes or beak) from infected birds. The disease is rare in humans, and does not usually spread from person to person. It may have symptoms like fever, headache, and cough, but it may become a serious lung infection. Antibiotics are the best treatment. Sick birds usually get ruffled feathers, diarrhea, and runny eyes, but some birds can spread psittacosis even if they look healthy. The best way to avoid psittacosis is to buy pet birds only from a well-known pet store. Tell your doctor if you become ill after buying or handling a bird.

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