How dangerous are bird droppings to human health?

The question of how dangerous are bird dropping to human health is not taken seriously enough and people just look at the mess, the smell and noise of the birds but rarely worry about any health dangers that are associated with birds who maybe roosting near or on air conditioning or water tanks.

Disease from a bird or droppings is difficult since exposure to the pathogens does not always result in disease and these bird diseases are not reportable to health authorities.

Examples of transmissible bird diseases associated with pigeons, geese, starling and house sparrows:

  • Histoplasmosis is a respiratory disease that may be fatal. It results from a fungus growing in dried bird droppings.
  • Candidiasis is a yeast or fungus infection spread by pigeons. The disease affects the skin, the mouth, the respiratory system, the intestines and the urogenital tract, especially the vagina. It is a growing problem for women, causing itching, pain and discharge.
  • Cryptococcosis is caused by yeast found in the intestinal tract of pigeons and starlings. The illness often begins as a pulmonary disease and may later affect the central nervous system. Since roof, ledges, schools, offices, warehouses, park buildings, signs, etc. are typical roosting and nesting sites, the fungus is apt to found in these areas.
  • St. Louis Encephalitis, an inflammation of the nervous system, usually causes drowsiness, headaches and fever. It may even result in paralysis, coma or death. St. Louis encephalitis occurs in all age groups, but is especially fatal to persons over age 60. The disease is spread by mosquitoes which have fed on infected pigeons and house finches carrying the Group B virus responsible for St. Louis encephalitis.
  • Salmonellosis often occurs as “food poisoning” and can be traced to pigeons, starlings, sparrows and other rodents.  The disease bacteria are found in bird droppings; dust from droppings can be sucked through ventilators and air conditioners, contaminating food and cooking surfaces in restaurants, homes and food processing plants.
  • E.coli  infection: It is one of the common infection caused by an enteric bacteria. This bacteria often traced in the faecal matters. When some bird or rodent visit such sites they carry these and spread to humans. Such as when birds peck on cow manure, the E. coli (O157:H7) go right through the birds and the bird droppings can land on or in a food or water supply.

FACTS

Bird faecal matter and feathers can have devastating effects on the heating and cooling components and indoor air quality of a commercial facility.  Pigeon problems can affect employees, maintenance personnel and potentially customers.

Dr. Rajiv Sahay, Director at EDLab was quoted on saying:
“heavy smells from the bacteria, fungi, and other organic matter from the birds can be infiltrate through the ventilation system causing significant harm to not only buildings but also to the many building occupants”.

If one pair of birds are a potential problem health problem what do many birds do to increase the health risk of humans?.

A single pair of pigeons can generate up to 18 new pigeons per year.  Once a nest is established, pigeons are extremely territorial.

 

  • Fresh Air Intakes: The nesting of pigeons begins at the fresh air intake along with faecal matter associated.  Pigeons like the fresh air vent as a result of constant air movement, covered area from inclement weather and nesting place for the families. The fresh air intake, if not broken through, will cause clogging of the screen restricting air flow and fresh air into the building.
  • Filter banks: Birds can peck though filter banks allowing for unfiltered air and pigeon contaminants to be drawn into HVAC components and supply air ducts.
  • Fan Assemblies: Bird feathers, faecal matter and debris builds within the fan blades decreasing airflow.
  • Evaporator Coils: Bird feathers, faecal matter and debris clogs the air conditioner coils and clogs the drain pan.
  • Coil Drain Pans: With the drain pan water and pigeon faecal matter creates a potential source of dangerous/toxic microorganisms and other chemicals.
  • AHU Insulation: Birds can peck at the insulation to create nesting material allowing for raw fiberglass fibers to enter the associated air conveyance system.

After explaining how dangerous are bird droppings to human health ring
A1 Pest Control Canberra where we will fix your bird problem for either commercial or domestic bird pest control.

Call us on 0407 065 413 for either bird or another pest control problem you may have.

 

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