A recent study conducted by a Pune doctor found that pigeon droppings have become a major health concern in urban areas in India. It states that exposure to pigeon excreta and feathers have a negative impact on human lungs.
The study was presented at a conference on interstitial lung diseases (ILD) in Pune. Dr Mahavir More, a pulmonologist from the city, highlighted how pigeons are becoming a major threat for chest related diseases.
The findings reveal that there are around 15 per cent of lung fibrosis related cases being reported Pune, out of which exposure to pigeon excreta and feathers are one of the main causes behind 50 per cent of the total lung fibrosis related cases.
Dr Modi, who made this presentation, said dedicated tests to detect such cases are not available in several cities in the country and unless the doctors are not aware, specific treatment for such cases cannot be given.
“There is not much awareness in regards with how pigeons can be a cause for lung related diseases. Due to a lack of awareness, many times patients get treatment for bronchitis, asthma or tuberculosis and the main cause of exposure to pigeons remains untargeted,” said Modi.
Satish More (name changed), has been working with Pune Municipal Transport (PMT) for the last 20 years. He visited Dr Modi complaining of chest pain. But all the reports including CT scan did not lead to any kind of diagnosis.
Upon the doctor’s interrogation, it led them to diagnose that the patient was suffering from Bird Fancier’s Lung or Hypersensitive Pneumonitis (HP). HP or Bird Fancier Lung is an inflammatory lung condition caused by bird dropping that are highly allergic.
More’s office had several pigeons in the vicinity and he was being exposed to them since the last 20 years. As a major remedy the doctor suggested that he should avoid being exposed to pigeons.
Dr Modi in his presentation had discussed another similar case, where three women from the same family were suffering from HP because of exposure to pigeons. In urban areas where we feed them due to pseudo-religious reasons, doctors have advised caution as it might affect our health critically.