Live updates



Bristol man's body tests positive for rare bird disease

Pet budgies have been known to pass the rare disease onto humans. Credit: Christian Charisius/ PA

Public Health England has issued a warning to bird-lovers after the body of a man from Bristol tested positive for a rare disease.

Psittacosis is a bird infection which can be passed onto humans by pets such as budgies and parrots. It can cause pneumonia and other severe health problems,

The man is thought to have caught the illness from one of his pets, which contributed to his death.

Bird-owners with concerns (especially those who bought the pets between May 28 and June 3) have been advised to talk to their vet.

“Members of the public who may have come into contact with birds need to be assured that severe illness as a result of infection from this bacteria is rare.

“However, it is important that those individuals are aware of signs and symptoms and discuss any concerns they may have with their GP.”

In humans, the signs and symptoms of psittacosis appear within four to 30 days after exposure but commonly occur after 10 days.

Symptoms include, fever, chills, cough, weakness or fatigue, muscle and chest, pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, headaches, sweating and abnormal intolerance to light.

– Mike Wade, Deputy Director of Health Protection for Public Health England South West

Find more information about psittacosis here.