There is no doubt that one of the big concerns that you should have about coming in contact with birds in their feces is the fact that these animals are the carriers of a number of diseases and parasites that can potentially make you, your family, and your pets ill. It is one of the reasons why ensuring that they are not able to roost around your home should become a big priority for you. The last thing you want is to get sick from some of the things that these animals carry.
While birds carry a number of different diseases, there are four that pose an exceptionally big health risk to people. If you are wanting to know what diseases pigeons carry, here are four that you should be really concerned about.
Salmonella and Listeria - we often think of these illnesses in terms of foodborne, meaning something that you have eaten, but the truth is that pigeons carry this bacteria as well. Because of the dangers that Listeria poses to pregnant women and to their young infants, it is incredibly important that you keep a pregnant woman and your young children away from areas where pigeons are known to gather. The same can be said of salmonella, which can lead to food poisoning that can be quite dangerous to people that are susceptible to illnesses.
Cryptococcal Meningitis - meningitis can be an extremely serious illness because of the way that it can lead to a severe disability and even death. Unfortunately, pigeons are the carrier of the disease in this can be contracted by you simply coming in contact with their waste. Meningitis from pigeons can become airborne as the feces dries, so it is a good idea to protect yourself at all costs when you are in areas that are known to have large pigeon populations.
Viral Encephalitis - something that is not commonly talked about is the fact that the West Nile virus was spread because pigeons were one of the primary carriers of the disease. They were not the only one, but they were one of them. This means that such things as encephalitis, which causes permanent nerve damage and even death, can be brought by these birds. The most common way that this is spread is that a mosquito sucks the blood out of an infected bird, then bites a human being. The blood from the bird is injected into the person's bloodstream and they can easily contract the disease from that point.
E. Coli - E. Coli can also be contracted from pigeons. The most common way that this is spread is by people coming in contact with the pigeon's feces. For those who spend a considerable amount of time at parks where pigeons are known to gather, it is essential that you wash your hands thoroughly every time that you return to ensure that you are not bringing the disease with you. You should also ensure that you wash your hands before eating in all instances.
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