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Parrot Fever: Disease Emerging In Europe, Know All About Its Causes And Symptoms



Parrot fever is a deadly disease that is now emerging in Europe. Already having taken five lives and put some others in hospitals, parrot fever has common symptoms. Read to know more about causes and symptoms.

As pretty as they can be recent revelations have proved these colourful birds to be equally dangerous. This year, a recent outbreak of psittacosis, commonly referred to as ‘parrot fever,’ has caused chaos killing at least five people all across Europe. People are also hospitalized due to this dangerous novice disease. Here is how the disease is caused, the symptoms and World Health Organization’s (WHO) investigations and rulings about the situation.

How is it caused?

According to the ‘US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’, the bacterial infection, transmitted by birds, is usually contracted through contact with infected animals or by inhaling particles from their feathers or dried faeces. One can get infected by Parrot Fever even if they are bitten by a parrot or if there is any direct contact between the parrot’s beak and a human’s mouth. People who are at a higher risk are pet owners, poultry workers, gardeners, and veterinarians.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of parrot fever include a typically mild fever, body aches, and coughing. However, in severe cases, it can advance to pneumonia. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports a mortality rate of approximately one in 100 patients.

Parrot Fever cases across Europe

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), four deaths were recorded in Denmark, and one in the Netherlands, with further hospitalisations reported in Austria, Germany, and Sweden, as reported by the New York Post.

In recent months, the number of cases has surpassed typical annual averages across Europe. Austria, which usually experiences around two cases annually, recorded at least 14 in the final months of 2023, with an additional four in March 2024. Denmark, where 15 to 30 cases are typical, reported at least 23 cases by February 27, resulting in 17 hospitalizations. Similarly, the Netherlands has observed double the usual number of cases since December 2023.

WHO’s evaluations

Most affected patients have reported exposure to birds, leading each affected nation to launch investigations to identify the cause of the spikes. Despite the rise in cases, the World Health Organization (WHO) has evaluated the risk posed by the current outbreak as low.

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