Psittacosis, or "parrot fever," has been known for many years. Several excellent descriptions of the clinical picture and pathologic changes have been recorded during past epidemics.
The disease was first described by Ritter, who observed a house epidemic in Uster, Switzerland, in 1879. Three weeks after the arrival of parrots from Hamburg, the disease broke out. Seven people were taken sick and three died. Ritter describes the condition as a "pneumotyphus" from its resemblance to both pneumonia and typhoid.1
In 1892, an epidemic of infectious bronchopneumonia broke out in Paris among people who had been in contact with parrots recently arrived from South America. Dubief established the etiologic relationship between the diseased parrots and the human epidemic.2 In 1893, Nocard described Bacillus psittacosis recovered from the bone marrow of a parrot that presumably had died from parrot fever.3
In 1896, Guilbert and Fournier recovered the same
PETERSON E, SPALDING OB, WILDMAN O. PSITTACOSISA CLINICAL AND ROENTGENOLOGIC STUDY OF SEVEN CASES WITH POSTMORTEM OBSERVATIONS IN ONE CASE. JAMA. 1930;95(3):171–179. doi:10.1001/jama.1930.02720030001001