About Careers Internship MedBlog Contact us

Pigeons And Sparrows In UK Face Bird Flu Risk

by Medindia Content Team on March 4, 2006 at 11:00 AM
Pigeons And Sparrows In UK Face Bird Flu Risk

It has been warned by Government officials that the much dreaded bird flu virus may be carried across by pigeons into city centres in UK. The feral birds have the potential of posing a serious health hazard, specifically in the urban areas, as they are susceptible to infection by the H5N1 bird flu viral strain.

The exact mechanism of how pigeons contract the infection and spread the virus is unknown. However, if bird flu virus is found in birds in U.K, it is feared that nearly all species could be at risk.


'In the event of the infection being present in our wild bird population, there is a danger to all avian species, wild, feral and domestic - and that includes pigeons. We have at this stage to assume that all avian species are capable of being infected with this virus, unless we know otherwise,' said Dr. Bob McCracken, former President, British Veterinary Association.

Inhalation of faecal dust from bird flu infected pigeons could pose a significant health hazard to human beings. Pigeons have already been known to spread a flu like illness (psittacosis) that can result in pneumonia, liver damage and even death.

Close contact with poultry, inhalation of dried faecal discharges form infected chickens has been responsible for bird flu transmission from chickens to human beings. Bird flu virus has claimed the valuable lives of 93 individuals and infected more than 150 others, ever since it emerged in 2003.

Although the probability of transmission of the bird flu virus to wild birds is negligible, it cannot be ignored. Waterfowl such as geese, poultry and ducks are main carriers of the H5N1 virus. Causalities have also been reported in doves, hawks, starlings, pigeons, thrushes and crows.

Font : A-A+



Recommended Readings

Latest Bird Flu News

Mutational Changes in Bird Flu Virus Signal Potential Pandemic
The study reports documented cases of A (H3N8) avian influenza viruses crossing species boundaries and affecting a range of mammals, including dogs and horses.
Genetic Change Boosts Bird Flu Severity
Researchers monitored the continuing avian flu pandemic to gauge its evolving risk to both humans and birds.
Bird Flu in Brazil: 6-month Health Emergency Declared
Bird flu in Brazil: Authorities are watching if the bird flu virus H5N1 is mutating into a form which can spread amongst humans.
New Mutation in Bird Flu Virus: An Emerging Threat to Human Health
Bird flu outbreak: New mutation in avian influenza virus (H5N1) could be the next human pandemic, warn health experts.
First Death from Avian Influenza Virus Reported
Exposure to live or dead poultry contaminated with avian influenza A virus results in the increase of human cases of avian influenza infection.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close
Greetings! How can I assist you?MediBot

Pigeons And Sparrows In UK Face Bird Flu Risk Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests