Psittacosis (Parrot Fever) Follow-up

Updated: Sep 08, 2017
  • Author: Klaus-Dieter Lessnau, MD, FCCP; Chief Editor: Burke A Cunha, MD  more...
  • Print
Follow-up

Further Outpatient Care

Instruct patients with psittacosis to see a physician if symptoms recur (ie, relapse).

Patients with relapses may need prolonged retreatment (eg, 3-4 wk).

Next:

Further Inpatient Care

Severe psittacosis requires intravenous antibiotics and hospital admission.

Isolation is not indicated during hospital stay.

Previous
Next:

Inpatient & Outpatient Medications

Patients with psittacosis may require doxycycline, usually 100 mg IV; alternatively, consider PO administration with the same dose twice a day.

Chloramphenicol is the third drug of choice but is rarely used in the United States.

Consider changing erythromycin from intravenous to oral administration (eg, 500 mg qid).

Chloramphenicol is rarely used in the United States because it may cause agranulocytosis.

Consider changing quinolones from intravenous to oral administration.

Previous
Next:

Transfer

Transfer patients with psittacosis who have acute respiratory failure to an intensive care unit.

Previous
Next:

Deterrence/Prevention

Instruct high-risk individuals to avoid handling newly imported or sick birds.

Previous
Next:

Complications

Potential complications of psittacosis include the following:

  • Acute respiratory failure

  • Pericarditis

  • Culture-negative endocarditis

  • Renal failure (rare, only a few case reports)

  • Disseminated intravascular coagulation (rare)

  • Arterial embolism (rare, 2 case reports)

  • Reactive arthritis

  • Transverse myelitis

  • Meningitis or encephalitis

Previous
Next:

Prognosis

With appropriate antibiotic therapy, the mortality rate of psittacosis is less than 1%.

Hypoxemia and renal failure portend a poor prognosis.

Previous
Next:

Patient Education

Warn pet owners and pet-shop and poultry workers to be aware of possible respiratory symptoms and fever.

For excellent patient education resources, visit eMedicineHealth's Sexual Health Center. Also, see eMedicineHealth's patient education article Chlamydia.

Previous