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Pune doc’s research paper claims pigeon droppings can cause allergies, lead to asthma

For his research paper, Dr Warad studied 1,100 cases between the age group of five to 12 from Pune and its periphery. The study was conducted between 2016 and 2018. According to the study, 37 per cent children were found to be allergic to pigeon feathers and droppings.

pune Updated: Jul 09, 2019 13:38 IST
Nozia Sayyed
Nozia Sayyed
Hindustan Times, Pune
Various civic officials have raised concerns about the increase in population of pigeons in the city. The PMC is now mulling to fine those whose feed pigeons. Pigeons at Deccan riverside.
Various civic officials have raised concerns about the increase in population of pigeons in the city. The PMC is now mulling to fine those whose feed pigeons. Pigeons at Deccan riverside.(HT PHOTO)
         

Pigeon droppings can cause allergies leading to asthma among patients in the city, reveals a paper presented by Dr Vijay Warad, city-based allergist and pulmonologist, on June 27 at the International Congress of Paediatrics Pulmonology in Tokyo, Japan.

For his research paper, Dr Warad studied 1,100 cases between the age group of five to 12 from Pune and its periphery. The study was conducted between 2016 and 2018. According to the study, 37 per cent children were found to be allergic to pigeon feathers and droppings.

Dr Warad, who is also a member of world allergy organisation, said, “We chose these cases and concluded that pigeon feathers and droppings can lead to allergies like rhinitis, sinusitis, skin allergies, conjunctivitis and if left untreated can lead to more severe complications in adulthood like deviated nasal septum, asthma, chronic respiratory diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and anaphylaxis.”

According to the study, the droppings and feathers have not only caused new allergy cases, but has also triggered it and led to severe form of shock in asthmatics.

“The droppings of a pigeon gets mixed in the air and through air ways this infection is passed on to the patient, causing the patient to fall prey to a severe form of allergy, even if he or she was never found to have any such condition in the past. During the three years of the study, there were at least 50 per cent new cases of allergies, wherein the patients were only allergic to the pigeon droppings and feathers,” added Dr Warad.

Dr Sanjay Gaikwad, head of chest, tuberculosis department at Sassoon General Hospital and BJ Medical college, said, “Asthma gets triggered by seasonal factors which predominantly aggravates the infection and allergies in a person. We usually come across hypersensitivity pneumonitis and bronchial asthma attacks in patients when they are exposed to pigeon droppings and such patients need immediate help and treatment. The study was needed to understand factors behind allergies and asthma which are directly related to pigeon droppings as it gives us clues for better diagnosis.”

Dr Sundeep Salvi, director, chest research foundation, said, “Asthma in paediatric age group has doubled in the last five years. Pigeon dropping and feathers are known to cause hypersensitivities pneumonitis as well.”

PMC report

The PMC in its 2017-2018 Environment Status Report (ESR) underlined that number of patients with respiratory problems and pneumonia are on the rise due to pigeon droppings. “There were cases where patients had to be shifted to ventilator (life support) after coming in contact with pigeon droppings and feathers,” the ESR stated. The report has also taken note of the increased number of pigeon feeding centres (kabutar khanas) in Pune.

However, various civic officials have raised concerns about the increase in population of pigeons in the city. The PMC is now mulling to fine those whose feed pigeons.

Mukta Tilak, Pune mayor, said, “We are still in the process of formulating the guidelines and will decide on the kind of penalty for people feeding the pigeons, which in turn leads to substantial increase in their population.”

About the paper

Dr Vijay Warad, city-based allergist and pulmonologist presented a paper on June 27 in the International Congress of Pediatrics Pulmonology in Japan. He found out that pigeon droppings can cause allergies leading to asthma among patients in the city. For his research paper, Dr Warad has studied 1,100 cases between the age group of five to 12 from Pune and its periphery.

37% people were found to have allergies to pigeon feathers and droppings, according to the paper

Allergies caused from pigeon feathers and droppings

-Rhinitis

-Sinusitis

-Skin allergies

-Conjunctivitis

-Deviated nasal septum

-Asthma

-Chronic respiratory diseases like Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and Anaphylaxis

How does the allergy spreads

Dr Vijay Warad said, “The droppings of a pigeon gets mixed in the air and through air ways this infection is passed on to the patient, causing the patient to fall prey to severe form of allergy, even if he or she was never found to have any such condition in the past.”

Pigeon feeding centres (kabutar khanas) in the city

-Sadashiv peth

-KEM Hospital and MSEB chowk, Rasta peth

-Apollo Theatre chowk

-Omkareshwar temple

-Padmavati paytha

-Pune Railway station premises

-Deccan riverbed

First Published: Jul 09, 2019 13:37 IST

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