The Dangers of Pigeons
The fatal diseases that are carried by pigeons and the likelihood of misdiagnosis
Rats with Wings
Pigeons, those statue perching, feces dropping accoutrement to parks and plazas,
are are carriers of thirty different diseases which effect humans.
The diseases pigeons carry don't just make you sick, they can kill you.
They kill you because the diseases are that serious.
They kill you because unless you know you have been exposed
to pigeons and tell the physician s/he will treat you for the more popular maladies.
The most frightening part of pigeon carried diseases is that they are usually mis-diagnoised.
Hence, you have all the symptoms of flu, and get your shot.
But you don't get better.
You die because the medication you should have gotten is on the shelf.
It is on the shelf because unless advised, very few, if any practitioners
will even think 'pigeon.'
What pigeons carry
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.
In short, they are living biological warfare vectors.
Some people keep pigeons and 'never got sick'.
They may be carriers of the diseases as well.
They may not know that what has been diagnosed as this or that and treated
was gotten via their pigeons.
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 now be infected.
Aspergillosis is probably the most well known air borne disease.
It is caused by a fungi which lives saprophytically in pigeon feces.
You don't have to touch the feces. Breathing it in is enough.
This disease poisons the victim’s blood. It causes death.
Cryptococcosis infects the brain.
It is caused by a yeast carried in the intestinal tract of pigeons and
deposited in their feces. As pigeon coops are full of this yeast, inhalation
Histoplasmosis is so powerful, and so difficult to detect it was once
considered as a biological warfare agent. 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.
Erysipeloid most often starts with a cut.
You don't know where you got the cut.
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.
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.
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, impair 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 keeping pigeons
What makes keeping pigeons so dangerous is that all the diseases they carry mimic more 'popular' maladies.
Unless the physician is specifically informed that the patient keeps pigeons,
and directs his or her mind to the dangers thereof, (and many are not
particularly aware of pigeon borne diseases), the wrong treatment is dispensed.
It may only be at autopsy where the actual cause be determined.
If you are keeping or thinking of keeping pigeons, sewer rats and
rattlesnakes are safer.