Bird Disease

Diseases Carried By Pigeons

  • Pigeons carry mycotic, (airborne) diseases.
  • They carry bacterial and protozoan diseases.
  • They carry various worms which live in their feces.
  • They have fleas which carry disease.
  • Pigeons walk in their own feces.
  • They walk back and forth then perch on your window sill, or patio furniture.
  • You touch it? You may be infected.

Mycotic

Aspergillosis is probably the most well-known air borne disease.
It is caused by fungi which live saprophytically in pigeon feces.
You don’t have to touch the feces. Breathing it in is enough.
This disease poisons the victim’s blood and it causes death.

Cryptococcosis infects the brain.
It is caused by yeast carried in the intestinal tract of pigeons and deposited in their feces. As pigeon coops are full of this yeast, inhalation is likely.

Histoplasmosis is so powerful, and so difficult to detect.
It is a pulmonary disease but extends to the liver, lymph nodes, and spleen.
The organism may disseminate to the blood and bone marrow and is fatal.
Of all the disease this one is most often mistaken for ‘flu’ and treated as such.
This is why so many people die of it.

Bacterial

Erysipeloid most often starts with a cut.
You don’t know where you got the cut. It hurts.
You have the sensation of burning, throbbing pain, and intense itching.
You treat it with whatever you have at home. It does not get better.

Listeriosis is especially dangerous for pregnant women.
It may cause abortions, premature delivery, stillbirths, and death.
Again, one attributes the results to other causes, not to pigeons.

Pasteurella multicida is spread via pigeon droppings or their nasal discharge. The organism can live a month in pigeon manure or three months in a dead pigeon.
Even dead pigeons carry diseases, so dispose of them as haz mat.

Salmonellosis is more than food poisoning. Gastroenteritis is the most common manifestation. Pigeons spread salmonellae as the bacteria are left wherever the pigeons defecate. As pigeons walk back and forth through their mess, they carry the bacteria on their feet.
Many people, especially children get gastoenteritis and do not connect the fact that there were pigeons in the sandbox, perching on those bars the child was touching.

One of the scariest is Yersiniosis. It is a plague-like disease and indistinguishable from appendicitis.
Many unnecessary appendectomies are performed.
A perfectly healthy appendix is removed, and the patient doesn’t get better.
This disease can be transmitted by pigeon feces, their eggs, or their ticks.

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Protozoan

Toxoplasmosis is attracted to brain tissue.
It can cause mental retardation and death.
Pigeons frequently transmit toxoplasmosis through fecal contamination, respiratory droplets, eye secretions, contact with infected tissue, or through ectoparasites.
It destroys the brain.

Chlamydiosis is another disease which imitates the flu.
There is a respiratory infection with high fever, severe headache, and generalized aches and pains.
The disease can be transmitted by infected ticks, ingestion, or by inhalation of dust contaminated with the organism.

Paracitic

There are parasitic worms which live in Pigeon feces.
Schistosomiasis, one of the most prevalent diseases throughout the world, is caused by a water-borne trematode and pigeons are responsible.
Called bilharzia, bilharziosis or snail fever, although having a low mortality rate, schistosomiasis often is a chronic illness that can damage internal organs and, in children, impa growth and cognitive development.
It is the second most socioeconomically devastating parasitic disease after malaria. Pigeons eat the snails that carry this disease and bring it from one body of water to another.

The Dangers Of Raising Pigeons

What makes raising pigeons so dangerous is that all the diseases they carry mimic more ‘popular’ maladies.

Unless your physician is specifically informed that the you are raising pigeons, and directs his or her attention to the dangers thereof, (and many are not particularly aware of pigeon borne diseases), the wrong treatment is dispensed.