Do Pigeons Carry Diseases | Will they spread to humans? Health risks from pigeons:

Pigeons are messy and insanitary birds in general that carry more than sixty hazardous diseases with them. Flocks excrete large amounts of droppings and might cause potential health risks to humans.

A Pigeon’s flock enjoys warmer weather. They prefer sitting on pipework and ledges while their fouling falls on the surface and creates a dangerously slippery floor for people. Pigeons breed crazy in the count and increase their number dramatically. Their fouling makes buildings, rooftops, and windowsills dirty and unclean.

It’s quite entertaining to see a flock of pigeons flying across the sky with flapping wings, unknowing that they carry pathogens that transmit dangerous and harmful diseases to people. The dried-up droppings of pigeons carry airborne bacteria that might cause susceptible asthma and other respiratory infections.

Humans with weakened immune systems, infants, children, and elder people are the easy victims of pigeon-related infections.

How do pigeons carry diseases?

Pigeons can carry and transmit dangerous bacteria and viruses through their droppings. They are unhygienic birds and also transport fleas, West Nile virus, and mites that can cause serious health issues and discomforts in breathing problems in humans.

The Bacteria or virus-infected droppings are left on windows, streets, rooftops, balconies, and other places around houses. The dried-up form of their fouling can become very minute, which humans are prone to inhale without realization.  

Pathogens inhaled by humans can bring them diseases that are very easily transmitted among others. The droppings also damage buildings, air conditioners, electrical wires, and ventilations. Many times, the wet droppings and pigeon feathers make the floor slippery resulting in many falls. 

Pigeons don’t mind their poo contaminating their nest. They continue to live in them attracting bird mites, fleas, and small insects. The new entrants might feed the little birds. These types of insects can attach to your pets and enter your home, causing itchiness, scratching, and other skin diseases to humans. 

The foul smell of pigeons’ discard and nest materials becomes a welcoming home for carpet beetles, clothes moths, mealworm insects, and other beetles. It is always better to avoid removing dead pigeons from your premises without the help of a trained professional, as it might save you more work and resources without having to do all the cleaning by yourself.

Will pigeons spread diseases to humans? What are the diseases mostly?

Yes, pigeons can spread diseases to humans. Humans are prone to small health issues when exposed or in direct contact with the droppings of pigeons. Pigeons’ excreta favors the growth of fecal ammonia and fungus that can cause respiratory disorders and irritation in humans.

The pathogens that spread disease from pigeons to humans are:

Histoplasmosis 

Histoplasmosis is a fungal infection caused due to the fungi that grow on pigeons’ droppings. They mostly cause respiratory diseases in humans. These fungi mostly attack humans while they clean pigeon droppings or their nests. Humans start to show symptoms that include fever, chest pain, cough, and fatigue when infected by these fungi.

Related Read: Do Pigeons Attack Humans?

Cryptococcosis 

Cryptococcosis is also a fungal disease that affects the human lungs when inhaled the fungi.  The fungi Cryptococcosis neoformans are usually observed in the pigeons’ droppings.

E.coli 

When the human intake in form of food or water gets polluted with pigeon droppings, this bacterial infection affects humans. The common symptoms are fever, cramps, and nausea. This bacteria mostly infects the intestines.

Candidiasis 

This disease also affects respiratory organs caused by yeast or fungus growing in the pigeons’ droppings. This infection mostly affects the mouth, urogenital tract, and intestine.

Salmonellosis

This infection causes diarrhea and commonly known as “food poisoning”, spread through the droppings that get turned into contaminated food or dust.

Psittacosis 

Water droplets and dust containing pigeon droppings cause this flu-like infection.

Pigeons mostly carry pathogens that cause respiratory disease and bacteria/fungi/virus infections. They do not cause viral infections like Rabies. 

Humans should wear gloves and take necessary precautions before approaching to clean or getting in contact with pigeon droppings. Wash your exposed hand areas before eating or drinking or keeping hands near your mouth. 

If you are playing or feeding your pet birds, wash your hands’ aftermath to avoid infections spread by them. Wear a mask while cleaning to protect yourself from airborne exposure to dry pigeons’ droppings in an enclosed area. 

Who gets health risks from pigeons?

Humans who have weakened immune systems can easily get potential health risks. Pigeon droppings are not only dangerous but also carry fleas which causes skin itchiness and irritation. Pigeons spread infections through bites, too dangerous to both pets and humans.

Children and infants get severe symptoms of infections when they are exposed to pigeon droppings. Some humans get allergy symptoms including rashes, itchiness, and lung diseases because of their fouling. When you live in an area close to pigeons, always be cautious of your surroundings. 

Elderly people are easy targets and have a higher chance of getting severe infections and complications from pigeon-related infections. As much as you handle them as your pets, always be careful of your safety.  

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