Pigeons are among the most liked family of birds. People love feeding them and you can come across flocks of pigeons at various spots. There is absolutely no harm if you like feeding.
But what about their droppings?
For obvious reasons, you will tend to avoid getting pigeons’ dropping on yourself. First thought? The dropping ruins your clothes and it can even smell bad at times.
Sometimes there is no escaping and you ultimately have to face the problem whatsoever. However, you should be worried apart from the fact that it ruins what you are wearing. There is a considerable health risk associated that you might be overlooking.
To make matters worse, the death of a child was recently reported in Glasgow, United Kingdom. And the reason concluded was the infection that resulted due to pigeons dropping!
Pigeons dropping & Cryptococcus
There is an indirect risk that is attached which you should potentially be worried about. So far, research has not found any harmful substance contained in the dropping yet it can surely make the environment harmful for humans.
Pigeons dropping contaminates the soil by inducing the production of the Cryptococcus fungus. This fungus appears more or less like yeast and is able to grow normally in air temperature.
You are likely to be infected by Cryptococcus if you breathe it in. Yes, any sort of exposure to it can possibly lead to the development of serious infection. It can be fatal as in the case with the child that died in Glasgow hospital.
Should people be worried?
Well for certainly, there is a cause of concern that you should actively consider. Pigeons droppings are not free from any health risk and can cause extreme forms of illnesses in the body. Medical scientists believe that droppings increase the chances of Psittacosis or Parrot Fever.
Psittacosis mainly appears to be like flu yet there are other severe symptoms that can accompany. Commonly patients will suffer from fever, chills and fatigue.
Scientists also believe that pigeons droppings contain traces of the bacteria Salmonella that can contribute to an extreme form of diarrhoea.
Anyhow, the contamination of literally anything from dust, water to air has potential health risks that need to be acknowledged.
Although, there are no such risk factors yet people with the weak immune system are more vulnerable than others. Particularly, their chances of being infected with Cryptococcus multiply due to weaker immunity.
Cases of infections were known to be uncommon previously but recent studies have suggested otherwise. If no precautionary measures are taken, then the problem can happen to be serious for the person.
On the fortunate side of the discussion, there are some measures you can carry out to lessen your risk of infection.
Like said before, there is nothing wrong with feeding pigeons. Yet, you should make it a point to wash your hands thoroughly after you are done with it.
If you come across any droppings, then wash the exposed area multiple times before you drink or eat. Lastly, try avoiding any sort of contact with droppings that you might see on the floor or elsewhere.