The Lovebirds

The Lovebirds
Perfect Pairs

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Zoonotic Diseases in Lovebirds

I think you know very well about Zoonotic diseases,meaning it may spread from animals/birds to human beings. Lovebirds also transmit some of the diseases to human beings. Hence as a owner of lovebirds, you do require to know about the Zoonotic diseases.

Not all the people are susceptible to Zoonotic diseases of lovebirds. Mostly these diseases are dangerous to the people who are compromised with immune system. This includes organ transplant recipients on immunosuppresive drugs, people infected with HIV, patients on chemotherapy (including high doses of prednisone) and newborn infants & the elderly.

Although the risk of Zoonotic disease of lovebirds are very minimal, it is a high time to aware the potential risk does exist. I am going to discuss about the major diseases, which are considered a Zoonotic risk. The common zoonotic diseases affecting the lovebirds are categorized into four groups. They are-
  • Bacterial diseases
  • Fungal diseases
  • Viral diseases
  • Parasitic diseases
Bacterial Zoonotic Diseases
The more common bacterial and bacteria-like organisms that can cause disease in humans are chlamydiosis (psittacosis), tuberculosis, campylobacteriosis, colibacillosis, and salmonellosis.

Fungal Zoonotic Diseases
Cryptococcus neoformans, and mycobacteriosis (the group of fungi that includes the agent that causes tuberculosis) are the important fungal diseases that may affect the lovebird owners.

Viral Zoonotic Diseases
Eastern/Western/Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus (EEE, WEE & VEE) are the major viral diseases that may transmitted from wild birds to humans. But its occurrence in lovebirds is somewhat questionable. Anyhow, this also should not be ruled out while diagnosing Zoonotic diseases in an affected individual.

Parasitic Zoonotic Diseases
Cryptosporidium and Giardia are the two common parasitic diseases, which may transmit ailment from lovebirds to humans. Apart from this, external parasites (i.e. lice, mites) also play a major role in causing illness among the pet owners. Although this won't cause any infestation, it is possible for them to be found physically on a human.

Other disease such as toxoplasmosis (protozoan disease) also may be noticed among the lovebirds to pass on to their owners, if left untreated.

How To Avoid Zoonotic Diseases?
As you know prevention is better than cure, every family member must be instructed on proper hygienic precautions to take with every lovebird. This includes-
  • Avoid cleaning or disinfecting the lovebird related items in the bathroom or kitchen sink
  • Do disinfect and clean your lovebird food bowls, toys, and cages on a frequent basis
  • Don't allow your lovebird in areas where human food is being prepared
  • Wash your hands after handling your lovebird- This should be mandatory
Avoid stress to the birds as it affects their immune system. Malnutrition should be avoided as it will also weaken the immune system and is often the direct cause of many Zoonotic diseases in lovebirds.

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