Battle with Birds’ Fanciers
My father used to be a poultry farmer; this could be the reason that to date I love being around birds. Since I was a child, my dad reared chicken for commercial purposes. At the age of 10, he bought me three exotic pigeons which became part of my life. After school I would feed them and ensure that they were well.
When it came time for me to move out of my parents home, I found it hard to live with no birds around me. That’s when I decided to buy some scarlet macaws. I bought two of them. Within no time, they graced my life.
For seven years, I lived with their company surrounding me. When I got married about five years ago, I moved in with them and they became part of my marital life. My two children, a son aged 4 and a daughter aged 2 were born to find the birds part of the family. They loved the birds and my son used to play with them most of the time.
An Infection Strikes
Out of nowhere, my son started a wheeze which I thought was a seasonal allergy which would later go away. I didn’t take him for medication then because I thought that he would get better taking some herbal medicine that I gave him then.
But the wheezing continued for about three weeks and went on to develop to a cough. All this time, my son was still playing with the birds as usual and I so no harm. According to me, I thought that he was developing common cold. Several visits to the doctor and after some medication, his coughing persisted. It never occurred to me that the macaws could be causing all this; actually, I thought that he was becoming asthmatic.
Bird Fanciers Disease
I talked to my husband about it and we decided to have the young boy examined for asthma. When we took him to a health care provider, he was diagnosed negative for asthma. This baffled me because by then he was experiencing shortness of breath. We discussed this with the physician and he advised that we have his chest x-rayed. Still, the test came out negative.
Further breathing tests were recommended including gas transfer and DLCO as well as CT-scan to listen to his lungs for crackles. That’s when it dawned to us that he had alveolitis. This is an infection which is passed from birds to humans and it causes an inflammation on parts of the lungs where oxygen is taken to the blood. Therefore it causes shortness of breath and tiredness among other.
Further test for avian were performed and the disease was confirmed. We were advised to have him as well as whole family withdrawn from exposure from the birds. This wasn’t easy especially for the kids given that they had got used to them. He was given some medication and then we went home.
In conclusion, I must admit that we had no better choices than to heed the doctor’s advice. It was hard for the kids for the first few weeks. During then, the condition of my son improved and I knew that we had to do away with the birds. Thanks to God, he recovered successfully, though we all still miss the bird which we donated to a local bird’s sanctuary.
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