Health Officials Warn Of Disease Risk From Pet Birds

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Minnesota health officials are warning that some pet owners may be at risk of contracting psittacosis from their recently purchased cockatiels or other pet birds.

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The Minnesota Department of Health is reporting that the birds may be infected with the bacterium that causes this illness if they were purchased from Petland Shakopee since it opened on November 10, or from Minnesota PetSmart stores since October 1. Petland Shakopee is located at 8091 Old Carriage Court North. PetSmart stores are located throughout Minnesota.

MDH officials are investigating illnesses in pet store workers to see if they have psittacosis. To date, no illnesses have been found in people who have purchased the birds.

Birds of the parrot family (parakeets, parrots, love birds, cockatiels) commonly carry the bacterium that causes psittacosis. The birds may not have any symptoms or they may be droopy and have diarrhea and a nasal discharge.

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