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Pigeon Diseases – Types and Symptoms of Diseases You Will Get From Pigeons

People see pigeons as friendly animals. These animals are always open to be fed and entertained in any time of the day. But because these pigeons are multiplying at a rapid state, this has been the cause of most people’s problems as well.

These urbanized pigeons are called feral pigeons. Aside from the flapping disturbances and coo-ing sound that you encounter during the night when they roost, their droppings come with more problems. The chemical substances that are found from pigeon droppings contain highly corrosive content that is potential to damaging your house paints and even car paints.

Your health is also in danger from these pigeon droppings. Aside from the destruction they can give to building structures (not to mention the mess they can offer to us), Your health is in danger as well because these droppings are found to contain fungi and bacteria that is not good for our health. If these bacteria are ingested to our body through airborne, we can catch the diseases in a short span of ten days since infection. Primary means of ingestion is when these droppings dry up and become powdered particles, fly with the air and get inhaled.

The following are types of bacteria we can get from these pigeon droppings.

Histoplasmosis

This disease is a well-known disease and fungus that is present and are always found in pigeon droppings. This can be present in soils throughout the entire planet. If infected, 10 days since day of infection you will feel chest pains, fatigue, and fevers. These are common signs of infections from this type of disease. This can easily be caught by inhaling pigeon droppings when cleaning them.

People who are HIV/AIDS positive are at risk of acquiring and developing the disease although histoplasmosis is not contagious; still, we need to take precautions when cleaning pigeon droppings.

Salmonella and Listeria

These bacteria are also carried by pigeons and can be through their pigeon droppings. These diseases especially listeria are a big threat to pregnant women and babies as it can cause meningitis in newborn babies, abortions, premature deliveries and even death.

E. Coli

Though these diseases can be obtained from under-cooked meats, it is also found in pigeon droppings. If you are situated in an area where pigeons are abundant, then you should at least wash your hands after dealing with the pigeons especially their droppings. Pigeons are a potential carrier of E. Coli to humans.

Psittacosis

This is also called as ornithosis or parrot fever. This disease is more tragic to parrot like birds such as parrots, parakeets and cockatiels. If we inhale dry pigeon droppings through airborne, we may end up sick 10 days since the day of infection like histoplasmosis. But this disease can be treated with antibiotics.

Candidiasis

Candidiasis is a fungus infection or yeast that is commonly spread by these pigeons. Aside from a threat to our respiratory system, intestines, and urogenital tract, it is also a big threat to women as this disease also targets the vagina, causing itching, pain and discharge.

Cryptococcosis

This disease is caused by yeast. It is mostly found in intestinal tract of pigeons. This type of disease often starts as a pulmonary disease and it will then develop and may affect the central nervous system. The fungus are mostly found in places where pigeons usually perch or roost such as attics, under the roofs, barns, mills, private warehouses, ledges, building parking areas and more on places where roosting sites and nesting sites are found.

St. Louis Encephalitis

This type of disease is carried by mosquitos but since pigeons and sparrow eat these mosquitoes, they are tagged as Group B virus carriers. When hit by this disease, you will feel drowsiness, headaches, fevers, paralysis, coma and even death. St. Luois Encephalitis is an inflammation of the nervous system.

Salmonellosis

Salmonellosis can also be found in pigeon and sparrow droppings. This type of disease often occurs in food poisoning as well. Dried up droppings turn to dust and then later carried by air and air conditioning units to ventilators. This is the reason why it can get to restaurants and houses, contaminating food and cooking materials in homes and in restaurants, including food processing plants.

Yellow Mealworms

This is commonly found in pigeon nests. This is perhaps the most common beetle parasite in the United States. These mealworms are usually found and located in grain products, grains, and even breakfast cereals. Obtaining the fungus may result to intestinal canthariasis and hymenolespiasis.

Viral Encephalitis

Reservoirs of West Nile virus, St. Louis Encephalitis and Western Equine Encephalomyelitis, that’s what the pigeons are called. Elderly and children see this disease as a big threat as it can be fatal. This may cause temporary or permanent nervous system damage. It can also lead to death.

Campylobacteriosis

This is also found in pigeons as well as cattle, swine and other types of birds. This type of bacteria is among the most known bacterial infections a human can get. Once this will hit you, you will likely to produce an inflammatory (can be bloody) diarrhea or dysentery syndrome. You will experience cramps, fever and even pain.

These are just some of the many diseases that we can get from these pigeon droppings and the pigeon itself. Whatever the virus or disease we may get, it is best to always clean your hands prior to eating and after every interaction with pigeons or pigeon droppings.

Aside from these diseases, pigeons are also good carriers of flicks, flea, mice and even lice which are potential harmful parasites to your pets. Keeping a clean environment will definitely lessen the threat to your family.

Make sure to treat each disease right away before it will get worse and become a serious or fatal respiratory sickness. Since some of these bacteria and fungi can cause death, we should not take it lightly when one has been infected by even one of these dreadful diseases.