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PDFWAC 246-100-201

Psittacosis—Measures to prevent human disease.

(1) The purpose of this rule is to protect the public from psittacosis.
(2) The definitions in this subsection apply throughout this section unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
(a) "Avian chlamydiosis" means a bacterial infection of birds caused by Chlamydophila psittaci;
(b) "Person" means any individual, corporation, company, association, society, firm, partnership, joint stock company, or governmental agency; or the authorized agents of these entities;
(c) "Psittacine bird" means all birds commonly known as parrots, macaws, cockatoos, cockatiels, lovebirds, parakeets, and all other birds of the order Psittaciformes.
(d) "Psittacosis" means a bacterial infection of humans caused by Chlamydophila psittaci.
(e) "Vendor" means a person selling, trading, or transferring a bird to another person as a commercial activity.
(3) A vendor acquiring, selling, trading, or transferring a psittacine bird shall maintain a record of transfer for at least one year which includes:
(a) Date of transaction;
(b) Name, address, and telephone number of the persons involved in the transaction;
(c) Number and type, including the common name of the bird transferred.
(4) A vendor transferring a psittacine bird to a member of the general public shall provide each buyer or recipient with written information about psittacosis and avian chlamydiosis including:
(a) Signs of infection in a sick bird including nasal discharge, sneezing, coughing, ruffled feathers, lethargy, and diarrhea;
(b) Symptoms of psittacosis in a human including chills, fever, headache, cough, and muscle aches;
(c) A warning that nasal discharge and droppings of an infected or sick bird may cause illness in humans;
(d) A warning that healthy appearing birds can shed the harmful bacteria that can cause psittacosis intermittently and that shedding can be activated by stress factors such as relocation, shipping, crowding, chilling, and breeding; and
(e) A recommendation to consult a veterinarian or health care provider, as appropriate, if signs or symptoms occur.
(5) To meet the requirements of subsection (4) of this section, vendors may use materials provided by the department and available at
(6) A vendor shall post a readable sign accessible to the general public with the information described in subsection (4) of this section.
(7) A person exhibiting or displaying a psittacine bird in a place or area used or occupied by the public shall exhibit the bird in a manner preventing human exposure to the bird and bird discharges except:
(a) In single-purpose pet shops and aviaries; and
(b) At bird shows if a room containing a bird is separated from other areas and activities, and the room entrance has a sign warning people about potential risk of psittacosis.
(8) The local health officer may initiate an epidemiologic investigation to control the transmission of C. psittaci to humans, which may include:
(a) Site visit to where the recently purchased infected bird is located and identification of the location where the bird was originally procured;
(b) Documenting the number and types of birds involved, the health status of potentially affected persons and birds, locations of facilities where birds were housed, relevant ventilation-related factors, treatment protocols, and examination of sales records; and
(c) Working with the bird vendor and vendor's veterinarian to test suspect birds using methods established in Appendix 1 of the Compendium of Measures To Control Chlamydophila Psittaci Infection Among Humans (Psittacosis) and Pet Birds (Avian Chlamydiosis), 2009. A copy of this publication is available for review at the department's website at
(9) When investigating a case of psittacosis, the local health officer may enforce requirements of this section on a nonpsittacine bird if there is suspected exposure of the nonpsittacine bird to an infected bird.
(10) Upon confirmation of avian chlamydiosis, a vendor shall cooperate with the local health officer and assume costs associated with actions required by the local health officer, which may include, but is not limited to, testing of potentially exposed humans; and quarantine, testing, appropriate antibiotic treatment, and destruction of birds.
(11) Any person receiving a psittacine bird from points outside Washington state shall:
(a) Refuse receipt of any bird originating from premises where avian chlamydiosis infection is suspected or known; and
(b) Refuse receipt of any bird from a premises quarantined for avian chlamydiosis.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050 and 16.70.040(1). WSR 11-04-017, § 246-100-201, filed 1/21/11, effective 1/1/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050. WSR 00-23-120, § 246-100-201, filed 11/22/00, effective 12/23/00; WSR 92-02-019 (Order 225B), § 246-100-201, filed 12/23/91, effective 1/23/92; WSR 91-02-051 (Order 124B), recodified as § 246-100-201, filed 12/27/90, effective 1/31/91; WSR 88-07-063 (Order 308), § 248-100-201, filed 3/16/88.]
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