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Go Back   Talk Budgies Forums > Budgie Talk > Your Budgie's Health > Diseases and Illnesses


Diseases and Illnesses Talk about any diseases, illnesses or other health concerns that may be affecting your budgie.

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Old 10-27-2008, 10:53 PM
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Default Can birds catch human illnesses?

I was wondering if budgies, cockatiels, etc. can catch illnesses such as colds, stomach virus, etc. from humans. I feel like I may be coming down with a cold and I surely don't want to give it to my birds. Should I avoid handling them for a few days?

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Old 10-27-2008, 11:01 PM
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I heard they can. But when we were sick (for like over 10 yrs) we'd always lay on the couch right next to our 3 tiels and they never got sick.
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Old 10-27-2008, 11:43 PM
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Birds certainly can catch certain human diseases and vice versa.

Psittacosis (chlamydia) is one pertinent example of this cross species transfer.

I couldn't tell you if they can catch a cold or stomach virus off you though.
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:03 AM
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I asked my vet this question once,she told me that they could not catch colds or flu from humans.
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Old 10-28-2008, 03:03 AM
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Found this info on the 'net. Birds cannot catch many diseases from humans. Our internal body temperatures are diferent, so colds that live in us, cannot survive in a bird's body (which has a higher temperature). Birds do not get colds, if a bird shows symptoms we could associate with a cold (sneezing, runny nose, etc.) the bird needs to be taken to an avian vet asap!

But there are a couple of diseases that can be transmitted, some include West Nile, Avian TB, and psittacosis (also known as chlamydiosis or parrot fever).
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Old 10-28-2008, 03:55 AM
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That was a good question Aubibird that didn't come across my mind that birds can or cannot catch human diseases. I thought they did but I was wrong. You see you learn every day on here
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Old 10-28-2008, 07:32 PM
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The simple answer is no. We can catch several illnesses from birds but do not give them to birds.

If you catch psittacosis from your birds you cannot give it to other birds or to other humans. It is a fallacy that you can. Most of these illnesses are only dangerous to old or very young people or people with supressed immune systems. It is really not that common for it to happen with pet birds. Most of the illness are more likely to come from poultry or wild birds.

Birds certainly cannot get the common cold or human influenza.

The outbreak of bird flu has caused alot of worry about this sort of thing happening. But again it is passed by birds to humans but at this stage it cannot be passed from human to human or from human to bird. It is this occurring that the health authorities are worried about. But there is a lot of other things that have to occur before this is even a possibility at the moment. The chances of a pandemic of bird flu is at this stage fairly remote. When you think that in just over 10 years under 200 people have died from bird flu it is still a very rare illness. In Australia more than 2,500 people per year die of normal flu it may put it into a better perspective. Many of the reports have been put there to unnecessarily scare people.

You probably have more chance of being hit by a car than of catching bird flu.
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