Numerous diseases are carried or caused by birds, from both their bodies and their droppings. Conditions caused by the fungal spores in the bird guano include 'pigeon fancier's lung' (extrinsic alveolitis), and ornithosis. Disease-causing organisms carried by the birds and passed in their droppings or via their feeding on human foodstuffs include Salmonella spp., Escherichia coli, Cryptococcus spp., Chlamydia psittaci and Listeria spp.. For example operators working in areas where they are at risk should wear full coveralls, respirators with dust fillers (P1,P2,P3) and gloves. The application of an appropriate disinfectant, such as PX-Ornikill, during work should also be considered.
Chlamydiosis. Relating to two similar diseases that are both influenza type viruses. The most commonly found is transmitted by birds such as pigeons and is known as Ornithosis. Although more like a flu type disease, it should be noted that fatalities can occur as with normal influenza viruses.
Psittacosis. This is the rarer, more serious strain being closer to atypical pneumonia. This is also associated with birds from the parrot family.
Cryptococosis. This is a very serious illness. It begins as a lung infection, but can progress to the brain causing meningitis.
Campylobactor. Caused by the contamination of food sources, usually by birds that have been infected by contaminated foodstuffs. This can result in extreme forms of gastro-enteritis.
Salmonellosis. This is present in upwards of 90% of feral pigeons, with percentages slightly less in the starling population. Anyone handling feral birds or being in close proximity to their surroundings, should exercise maximum hygiene practices.
Extrinsic Allergic Alveolitis. Commonly know as bird fanciers lung, this is caused by inhalation of dust from the birds and can be remedied by the total removal of the birds and associated debris.
Erysipelas. This is a serious wound infection caused by transmission of streptococcus pyogenes found in bird fouling and debris, which enter minor wounds.
Escherichia Coli. This is contracted orally by ingesting contaminated food or water. The incidence is clearly related to hygiene, food processing, general sanitation and the opportunity for contact. Recent research at Lancaster Univercity has linked its spread to gulls