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PetSmart Birds Quarantined

January 3rd, 2008, 05:33 PM

ATLANTA -- Officials have quarantined birds from a Florida dealer and 35 PetSmart stores in Georgia after an outbreak of a bacterial disease that could affect humans.

The Georgia state Department of Agriculture said two confirmed cases of avian chlamydiosis have been reported. The bacteria affects parakeets and other parrots.

Once passed to humans, it is called psittacosis.

Georgia agriculture commissioner Tommy Irvin said stores are required to move the birds away from customers and feed the animals medicated food for the next 45 days.

Irvin says Preferred Birds, which is based in Florida, has also had confirmed cases of bacteria.

Humans who catch the illness may experience fever, chills, headaches, muscle aches, and a dry cough. The disease can be treated with antibiotics.