According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), “The most serious health risks arise from disease organisms that can grow in the nutrient-rich accumulations of bird droppings, feathers and debris under a roost — particularly if roosts have been active for years.”
Cryptococcosis is the disease caused by the fungus known as Cryptococcus. Cryptococcus is a fungus that is found in the soil, usually in association with bird droppings. The major species of Cryptococcus that causes illness in human is Cryptococcus neoformans, which is found worldwide.
The IDPH also states that, “Pigeon droppings appear to be the most important source of the disease fungus Cryptococcus neoformans in the environment. The fungus is typically found in accumulations of droppings around roosting and nesting sites, for example, attics, cupolas, ledges and water towers. It has been found in as many as 84 percent of samples taken from old roosts. Even when old and dry, bird droppings can be a significant source of infection.”
“People can get cryptococcosis infections by the inhalation of airborne fungi which are spread from these sources,” reported Ed Chambers, the President of EC2, Inc., an Illinois based environmental and infectious disease consulting firm. “Even indoor environments can be impacted if bird waste has accumulated near air intakes at commercial and institutional buildings. Fortunately there are testing methods and proactive things people can do to prevent infection.”
EC2 recently helped sponsor a public outreach video on cryptococcosis that can be viewed at:
To learn more about environmental, indoor air quality and infectious disease issues, please visit http://www.4ec2inc.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (815) 703-9000.
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About EC2, Inc.
EC2 is a leading provider of environmental consulting and inspection services for clients across the United States. Based in the Chicago area, the company provides their services to clients ranging from local companies and institutions to international Fortune 500 Corporations.