The pigeons

Le 19 March 2020

The pigeons installed in our cities mainly belong to two species:

The wood pigeon, native to the countryside and forest areas.

he bisque pigeon, formerly native to the coasts and rocky zones.

Effects on humans 

Pigeons are a reservoir of potentially pathogenic microorganisms for humans. This therefore represents a health risk to be taken into consideration. Their droppings are in particular carriers of germs of various diseases. They can be transmitted by two main vectors, inhalation and contact.

Ornithosis, also called psittacosis or chlamydia, it results in an influenza-like illness which can progress to pneumonia in the most serious cases. It is a reportable disease when diagnosed.

Note that cryptococcosis, Newcastle disease and salmonellosis are not specific to pigeons and can affect all species of birds. To date, even if medical treatments are administered, there are no preventive vaccines against this type of disease. 

The most exposed populations are people in permanent contact with birds (pigeon fanciers, veterinarians). Technical agents may also be affected. In this case, the probability of transmission to humans is greater for people who have to clean buildings or urban surfaces. 

The risk of contracting such diseases remains moderate. The risk of zoonosis (West Nile virus) transmitted by the pigeon remains marginal and in 95% of cases not serious.