One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A contagious disease of birds, caused by chlamydiae and transmissible (especially from parrots) to human beings as a form of pneumonia.
- ‘C. psittaci causes a rare disease called psittacosis (also known as ornithosis).’
- ‘Though some birds with psittacosis don't display any signs or symptoms, others lose feathers or change their eating habits.’
- ‘Exposure to the dust from nesting material and dried droppings can cause psittacosis, a respiratory disorder.’
- ‘One species, C. psittaci, causes psittacosis (so-called parrot fever), a respiratory infection transmitted from birds to people.’
- ‘The probability that a pneumonic illness in a budgerigar owner is due to psittacosis increases when the patient says that a pet bird has recently died.’
Late 19th century: from Latin psittacus ‘parrot’ + -osis.
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