Arizona Game and Fish: Dead lovebirds infected with parrot fever

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. - Arizona Game and Fish officials say "parrot fever" is responsible for killing 20 lovebirds in Scottsdale.

Officials said a Scottsdale homeowner reported that 20 lovebirds were found dead in his yard. Game and Fish tested the birds and found that they were infected with psittacosis, otherwise known as parrot fever.

The disease can spread to humans and can be difficult to diagnose, but it's more commonly caught by bird owners, according to Dr. Anne Justice-Allen, an Arizonan Game and Fish veterinarian.

Last summer the disease infected a Mesa woman who used a leaf blower to clean up after the lovebirds. She became ill with a respiratory condition and doctors couldn't diagnose it.

She was eventually diagnosed with parrot fever and given antibiotics. Symptoms vary but can include severe nagging cough, achiness or eye infection.

Game and Fish recommends people be cautious when feeding wild birds, not to overfeed birds or cause them to flock to your yard, and to use diluted bleach when cleaning up bird waste (Ratio: 1 cup per gallon of water).

They also recommend to report any sick or dead animals to Game and Fish online or call 877-972-8426.

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