An Overview of Diseases from Birds

It is rare that people get diseases from physical contact with birds. Owning birds is unlikely to get humans ill. However, birds can spread germs to human beings so it is best to take preventative measures against contamination. People who handle birds or anyone who comes in contact with them or their excrement should take care to wash their hands thoroughly.

The various species of birds carry different germs and therefore can cause a variety of diseases. Ducklings and chicks are known to carry Salmonella, which causes the disease salmonellosis in infected humans. Chlamydia psittaci inhabits parrots and parakeets and causes the disease psittacosis in humans. Droppings of birds carry a wide variety of germs that can cause illness in humans. Pigeon droppings are especially germ ridden and ripe for infecting humans with disease. Cryptococcus infection, also known as cryptococcosis is a fungal disease associated with pigeon droppings.

Some individuals are more vulnerable to diseases from birds due to the nature of their immune system, their age, or the history of their health. Babies, children, people suffering from HIV infection and AIDS, cancer patients, as well as recipients of organ transplants are typically more vulnerable to diseases from birds.

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