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Can parrots catch your cold?


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Some viruses which are transmitted via blood to blood & saliva to blood can be passed between species such as West Nile & Rabies viruses. Bird flu H5N1 is a flu mutation that has recently become an inter-species threat. Given the known rate of flu mutation, more are likely to develop.


It is generally accepted that birds won't catch your cold. But there are different bacteria, etc in our saliva that isn't good for them. Since I'm just drippy when I have a cold, I try to stay clear so as not to pass anything on. Then, when one of my guys start sneezing & coughing, I'm sure it's just communication, not contamination.

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I always thought birds can catch our colds... That is what I have been told by bird store owners and why people have to disinfect hands before touching and if people are sick they were not aloud near the birds. This is good to know that those people were wrong!

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The disinfecting is good practice regardless before handling a bird. You never know what other germs or toxins you may carry on your hands, such as dog or cat saliva, bacteria from doorhandles when others haven't washed their hands etc. Although possibly disinfecting is a strong word, a normal handwash with soap is sufficient.

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