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Volume 11, Number 3—March 2005


Probable Psittacosis Outbreak Linked to Wild Birds

Barbara L. Telfer*Comments to Author , Sarah A. Moberley†, Krishna P. Hort†, James M. Branley‡, Dominic E. Dwyer§, David Muscatello*, Patricia K. Correll*, John England¶, and Jeremy M. McAnulty*
Author affiliations: *New South Wales (NSW) State Department of Health, NSW, Australia; †Wentworth Public Health Unit, NSW, Australia; ‡Nepean and Blue Mountains Pathology Service, NSW, Australia; §Westmead Hospital, NSW, Australia; ¶Blue Mountains District ANZAC Memorial Hospital, NSW, Australia

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Table 2

Multivariable logistic regression model of potential risk factors for psittacosis among 48 case-patients and 310 controls in the Blue Mountains outbreak, Australia

Potential risk factors for psittacosis Adjusted* OR (95% CI)† p value
Age group (y)
  15–49 Referent
  50–64 3.9 (1.5–10.5) 0.006
  65–75 2.8 (0.9–8.8) 0.08
Resident of the upper Blue Mountains 15.2 (5.6–41.7) <0.0001
History of asthma 0.1 (0.01-0.8) 0.03
Level of contact with free-ranging (wild) birds
  No contact Referent
  Only indirect contact 2.6 (1.0–7.3) 0.06
  Any direct contact 7.4 (2.5–22) 0.0003
Contact with caged or domestic birds 0.2 (0.04–0.8) 0.02
Lawn mowing
Did not mow lawn Referent
  Only mowed lawn with a grass catcher 0.4 (0.1–1.3) 0.12
  Mowed lawn without a grass catcher 3.2 (1.3–8.0) 0.01
  Potting or weeding 0.2 (0.1–0.5) 0.001

*After adjustment for the effects of age group, sex, region of residence, outdoor employment, history of asthma, level of free-ranging (wild) bird contact, contact with caged or domestic birds, lawn mowing, potting or weeding, smoking history, general health self-rating, duration lived in the Blue Mountains, soft landscaping, hard landscaping, using compost, and residence adjacent to bushland.
†OR, odds ratio; CI, confidence interval.

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