AUSTRALIA: Parrot fever alert issued after three people test positive

Health authorities in New South Wales have issued an alert for a disease known as parrot fever after three people were diagnosed with a “rare bacterial infection”.

Three locals in the Blue Mountains and Lithgow area have been infected with psittacosis since early April, NSW Health said in a statement.

“Psittacosis is a disease caused by the bacterium Chlamydia psittaci which is carried by birds,” the department states.

“Humans most commonly catch the disease from infected birds by inhaling the bacteria from secretions and droppings.”

NSW is home to wild bird populations known to carry the bacteria that causes the infection.

The health department said it had recently been detected in wild birds from the upper Blue Mountains and neighbouring Lithgow, to the west of greater Sydney.

The disease can be treated with antibiotics however older people “generally experience more severe illness”, NSW Health states.