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NEW: DEM Confirms Bacterial Infection in Pawtucket Birds

Monday, June 10, 2013

 

DEM has confirmed the presence of a disease known as psittacosis in a privately-owned flock of psittacine birds in Pawtucket. Photo: kathrin gaisser/Wiki

The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) has confirmed the presence of a disease known as psittacosis in a privately-owned flock of psittacine birds in Pawtucket.

Birds from this flock were sold to pet shops where they may have exposed other birds to the disease. DEM is concerned that people may have purchased diseased or exposed birds from these pet shops. The pet shops are not the source of the disease but may have sold birds from the flock that is the source of the disease. The pet shops are two locations of Critter Hut Aquarium and Pets, one located at 6637 Post Road, North Kingstown and the other located at 91 Point Judith Road, Narragansett. All susceptible birds at those stores and the source flock have been isolated and are undergoing testing and treatment. These facilities have been cleaned and disinfected and do not represent an ongoing animal health or public health risk.

Understanding Psittacosis

Psittacosis is a bacterial infection that most commonly infects psittacine birds such as parakeets, cockatiels, and lovebirds. People who are in contact with an infected bird can contract the disease. Psittacosis can be cured in people or birds if they are infected with antibiotics.

What to Do

The RI Department of Health is asking that anyone with an illness that has purchased a psittacine bird from one of the Critter Hut locations on or after February 1, 2013 to please contact them at (401) 222-2577 for evaluation.

DEM is asking that those people also contact their veterinarian for guidance on testing and treatment of their bird.
The Rhode Island Veterinary Medical Association (RIVMA) can help owners find a veterinarian if they do not have one and can be contacted at (401) 751-0944.

HEALTH and DEM stress that the disease is generally very responsive to treatment when it is properly diagnosed and treated; rapid identification of infection is essential, and people should contact HEALTH at 222-2577 or RI State Veterinarian Scott Marshall, DVM at DEM at 222-4700 ext. 4503 if they suspect a related illness in either people or birds.
 

 

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