THERE has been a significant increase in the importation and sale of psittacine birds during the past five years following the relaxation, in late 1951, of federal regulations governing quarantine and shipment of these birds.1 Several recent articles * have emphasized the coincident sharp increase in human psittacosis. The number of cases reported annually to the United States Public Health Service from 1945 to 1951 varied between 25 and 35. This number rose to 135 cases in 1952. 169 cases in 1953, 495 cases in 1954. and 278 cases in 1955.8
Parakeets and parrots are considered to be the principle source of human infection 9 although the disease can result from contact with other types of birds.† For example, the 1954 total is high because over 200 cases were attributed to contact with infected turkeys. Considering that many human infections are not recognized or re- ported, it is significant
PROUTY RL, JORDAN WS. A FAMILY EPIDEMIC OF PSITTACOSIS WITH OCCURRENCE OF A FATAL CASE. AMA Arch Intern Med. 1956;98(3):365–371. doi:10.1001/archinte.1956.00250270109015
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