Psittacosis should be considered in any patient with fever of undetermined origin. The only clues to diagnosis may be failure to respond to antibiotics or history of bird exposure. Birds may be asymptomatic and able to transmit disease, thus quarantine and treatment of imported birds does not guarantee freedom from disease. An ELISA test limited to avian feces may be inadequate; cultures increase sensitivity. In most cases, diagnosis is not confirmed for 4–6 weeks. In order to prevent significant complications, therapy should be started on suspicion. Rapid response to tetracycline should be expected. The case of psittacosis presented emphasizes multiple salient features of the disease. History of animal exposure, including avian, should be a part of every history and physical examination.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine