Pigeons are one of the most common bird species found in urban areas worldwide. While they may seem harmless, there is a prevailing myth that pigeons can cause cancer. This myth has been circulating for years, causing concern among many living in areas with abundant pigeons. But is there any truth to this claim?
No – there is currently no evidence to suggest that pigeons can cause cancer in humans. Although these birds carry diseases and can spread them to humans, no scientific evidence links these birds to cancer.
Let’s learn about the causes of cancer, how cancer spreads, the diseases that pigeons can spread, and more. By the conclusion of this essay, you will better grasp the potential health concerns related to pigeons and how to keep them safe.
Is There Any Risk of Cancer Spreading from Pigeons?
The cancer spreads when abnormal cells grow and divide uncontrollably and then invade nearby tissues and organs. While pigeons can carry diseases that can be harmful to humans, there is currently no evidence to suggest that they can cause cancer or spread cancerous cells.
Furthermore, cancer is not contagious and cannot be spread through contact with animals or their droppings. Cancer is caused by mutations in the DNA of cells in the body, and these mutations cannot be transmitted from one person or animal to another.
In fact, scientists have studied pigeons extensively, and there has been no evidence found that pigeons can cause cancer or that they are a risk factor for cancer; rather they can help detect can cancer.
But remember that while pigeons are not a risk factor for cancer, they can carry other diseases that can be harmful to humans.
Can Pigeons Transmit Any Disease That Is Fatal To Humans?
Although diseases transmitted by pigeons can lead to serious health problems, there is no record of fatal diseases affecting humans exclusively from pigeon transmission.
Nonetheless, individuals with weakened immune systems or existing respiratory ailments may be at a higher risk of developing severe infections from exposure to pigeon droppings or other contaminants.
To mitigate the risks associated with pigeons and their droppings, it is essential to take adequate precautions, such as utilizing gloves and a mask when cleaning up droppings and ensuring proper ventilation in areas where pigeons are known to roost.
If you have concerns about exposure to pigeons and their associated health hazards, we recommend consulting with a healthcare professional to obtain the most accurate and up-to-date information.
Which Diseases Are Caused By Pigeons?
As previously stated, pigeons are documented as potential carriers of various diseases, some of which may pose a risk to human health. To provide a comprehensive overview, the diseases associated with pigeons can be classified into several categories:
Respiratory Diseases That Cause By Inhaling
When pigeons’ droppings dry, they turn into fine dust that can be easily inhaled. This dust contains fungal spores that can cause several respiratory diseases, such as:
These diseases can cause symptoms such as fever, cough, chest pain, and difficulty breathing. Individuals with weakened immune systems or pre-existing respiratory conditions are particularly susceptible to these infections.
Infections that Spread Via Direct Contact With Pigeons
In addition to respiratory diseases, pigeons can transmit bacterial infections through droppings or direct contact. Some of the bacterial diseases that pigeons can cause include:
- E.coli infections
Salmonellosis, for example, can cause symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. E.coli infections can cause severe gastrointestinal symptoms such as cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting.
These infections can be particularly dangerous for young children, elderly individuals, and those with weakened immune systems.
Numerous scientific inquiries have been embarked upon to explore the potential health hazards attributed to pigeon excrement and related illnesses.
One such exploration, documented in the Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences, revealed that pigeons could harbor and propagate an array of diseases, encompassing salmonella, E. coli, and chlamydia.
These birds are also known to carry a variety of parasites that can cause health problems in humans, such as:
- Bed bugs
These parasites can infest both the birds and their nesting areas and can easily spread to humans who come into contact with them. They can cause skin irritation and itching and sometimes even transmit Lyme disease.
How Can You Be Safe from Diseases that Pigeons Spread?
Implementing preventive measures to safeguard yourself from diseases that pigeons transmit is imperative. To ensure safety from pigeon-borne illnesses, there are various precautionary measures that can be adopted:
Avoid Contact with Pigeons
Avoid areas where pigeons congregate, such as parks, plazas, and city squares. Pigeon droppings can contain disease-causing organisms, so avoiding contact with them is best.
Keep Your Environment Clean
Ensure that your living spaces, particularly those that are close to pigeon nesting areas, are kept clean and free of pigeon droppings. Regularly cleaning surfaces with disinfectants, sweeping or vacuuming droppings, and wearing gloves can significantly reduce exposure risk.
Wear Protective Gear
When cleaning up areas contaminated with pigeon droppings, wearing protective gear such as gloves, goggles, and a face mask can help protect you from inhalation or ingestion of harmful microorganisms.
Wash Your Hands Frequently
If you come into contact with pigeons or their droppings, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Doing so will help you prevent the spread of germs and bacteria that pigeons carry.
Control Pigeon Populations
Taking steps to prevent pigeons from nesting in or near your living spaces can reduce your risk of exposure to their droppings and associated diseases. This can include installing spikes or netting, sealing off entry points, or using scare tactics to deter pigeons.
Seek Medical Attention If Necessary
If you develop symptoms such as fever, cough, chest pain, or difficulty breathing after exposure to pigeon droppings or contact with pigeons, seek medical attention immediately.
Pigeons Causing Lung Cancer- Explained
Are Pigeons Actually Intelligent Despite Their Reputation for Being Dumb?
Are Pigeons Actually Intelligent Despite Their Reputation for Being Dumb? It’s a question that often arises amongst skeptics. But the truth is, pigeons possess remarkable intelligence that may surprise you. Research has revealed their ability to recognize themselves in a mirror and navigate complex mazes. They can even distinguish between different artworks! So, next time you underestimate these feathered creatures, consider why pigeons are smarter than you.
While pigeons can carry diseases that can be harmful to humans, there is currently no evidence to suggest that they can cause cancer or spread cancerous cells.
Always take precautions to protect yourself from diseases that pigeons can spread, such as avoiding contact with pigeon droppings, wearing protective gear, and maintaining good hygiene.
If you are concerned about pigeons in your area, you can take steps to deter them from roosting on your property, such as installing bird spikes or using bird netting.
Remember that pigeons are a natural part of our urban environment and play an important role in our ecosystem. You may cohabit with pigeons safely and limit your risk of illness exposure by taking basic precautions and adopting excellent hygiene.