Increase in reported cases of parrot fever in Denmark

A number of people in Denmark were literally ‘sick as a parrot’ last year and the disease is becoming more common

Denmark has experienced a significant jump in cases involving parrot fever, or psittacosis, a bacterial infection of the airways which can be transferred from birds to humans.

In 2016, 24 cases of the disease were reported, which included 6 people who had become infected at Vilsund Market in Thy. In 2015, there were 25 reported cases. The figures for the last two years are almost double those for 2014.

Last year, one person experienced blood poisoning and another was hit by kidney failure. In worst cases, the disease can also be fatal.

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Disease under-reported
Senior researcher Søren Anker Uldum from the State Serum Institute (SSI) says that the 25 registered cases are possibly only the tip of the iceberg. Many more people might catch it but only experience mild symptoms.

“Parrot fever is very difficult to diagnose,” Uldum told TV2 News.

In most cases, the illness manifests itself as influenza-like symptoms such as fever, muscular pains and headaches, but it can also develop into a potentially deadly type of pneumonia.