Paralysed woman claims parrots caused her meningitis
A Limerick woman, who claims she contracted meningitis from parrots while working in a pet shop, has begun a High Court action against both her employer and the HSE.
Patricia Ingle. Ballinaculla Weston, Limerick, is brain damaged and paralysed after she contracting a rare disease, allegedly while she was working in the Petmania Store in Limerick in 2008.
Ms. Ingle (22) also claims that the HSE failed to diagnose her condition in time and, as a result, she is now wheelchair-bound.
The woman, who is on a ventilator, resides in Limericks’ Mid Western Regional Hospital.
She claims that, when she began working for Petmania, she was given no health and safety training.
Nor, she says, was she warned about the dangers of working with animals.
It is alleged she contracted lymphocytic choriomeningitis as a result of inhaling particles from the faeces of parrots suffering from chlamydia psittacosis.
This is an airborne infection which can be transferred from birds to humans.
The court was told that shortly before she became ill that an internal inspection of the store remarked that the bird cages ‘'were filthy'’.
Both Petmania and the HSE deny the claims.
The case is expected to last a number of weeks.