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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : local September 25, 2016

8/23/2014 1:13:00 PM
Parrot fever reported in Arizona

COTTONWOOD - Arizona Game & Fish Department is requesting the public be aware of a potential health threat following the discovery of the disease psittacosis, also known as parrot fever, in Arizona.

Arizona Game and Fish Wildlife Health specialist Anne Justice Allen stated currently it appears psittacosis is present only in feral (wild) lovebirds. A Scottsdale homeowner reported finding 20 dead lovebirds in his yard. Game and Fish tested the birds and results indicated the birds had psittacosis.

It is important to know the disease can spread to humans and can be difficult to diagnose.

Game & Fish officials indicated it takes from one to four weeks from exposure to become infected. Symptoms can vary, from a severe persistent cough to body aches and eye infections.

According to Game & Fish, the good news is it is treatable with the right antibiotics.

Game & Fish offers these tips to avoid infection:

Be cautious how you feed wild birds

Don't overfeed -- It attracts too many birds, which leave behind waste; overfeeding can also artificially keep wild-bird populations high

Use diluted bleach at a ratio of one cup per gallon of water when cleaning up bird waste

Report any sick or dead animals to AZGFD Wildlife Health Specialist Anne Justice Allen at (623) 236-7351.

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