Psittacosis, or, better, ornithosis, is rarely encountered in New England. When a woman from Cape Cod entered the Massachusetts General Hospital with a fever of unknown origin of a week's duration, there was little to suggest such a diagnosis. Administration of 900,000 units of penicillin daily for the four days prior to entry had not apparently altered the course of the disease, but it may have affected later diagnostic procedures.
REPORT OF A CASE
K. R. D., a woman, 61, had been leading an active life until May 31, 1950, when she felt exhausted; in a few hours severe headache and a fever of 102 F. with frequent small chills developed. The headache was frontal and occipital, and, in addition, there was generalized muscular pain, partially relieved by administration of acetylsalicylic acid (empirin®). The neck had not been stiff. After the onset the patient was continuously febrile, the temperature
Chapman EM. PSITTACOSIS: A CASE IN CAPE COD. JAMA. 1951;147(14):1343-1344. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.73670310002012a