Surveillance and outbreak reports Open Access
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Free-living wild birds worldwide act as reservoir for Chlamydia psittaci, but the risk of transmission to humans through contact with wild birds has not been widely documented. From 12 January to April 9 2013, a total of 25 cases of psittacosis were detected in southern Sweden, about a threefold increase compared with the mean of the previous 10 years. A matched case-control study investigating both domestic and wild bird exposure showed that cases were more likely than controls to have cleaned wild bird feeders or been exposed to wild bird droppings in other ways (OR: 10.1; 95% CI: 2.1-47.9). We recommend precautionary measures such as wetting bird feeders before cleaning them, to reduce the risk of transmission of C. psittaci when in contact with bird droppings. Furthermore, C. psittaci should be considered for inclusion in laboratory diagnostic routines when analysing samples from patients with atypical pneumonia, since our findings suggest that psittacosis is underdiagnosed. .


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