Can humans get avian cholera?

Answered by Stephen Mosley

Avian cholera, also known as avian pasteurellosis or avian fowl cholera, is a bacterial disease that primarily affects birds. It is caused by the bacterium Pasteurella multocida and can cause severe illness and mortality in affected bird populations. However, the good news is that avian cholera is not considered contagious to humans.

As an expert in the field, I can assure you that there is no documented evidence of human infections with avian cholera. This disease primarily affects waterfowl and other wild bird species, as well as domestic poultry. The bacteria responsible for avian cholera have specific adaptations that allow them to infect avian species, but they do not possess the same mechanisms to invade and cause disease in humans.

It is important to note that avian cholera is primarily transmitted through direct contact with infected birds or their droppings, as well as through contaminated water sources. Humans generally do not come into close contact with infected birds or their environments in a way that would facilitate transmission of the bacteria. Therefore, the risk of humans contracting avian cholera is extremely low.

However, it is always advisable to practice good hygiene when dealing with any animal or bird carcasses, including those affected by avian cholera. This includes wearing gloves and washing hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling or coming into contact with potentially contaminated material. These simple precautions can help prevent any potential transmission of other pathogens that may be present in bird carcasses, although the risk of avian cholera transmission is negligible.

Avian cholera is a disease that primarily affects birds and is not known to be contagious to humans. The specific adaptations of the bacteria responsible for avian cholera limit their ability to cause disease in humans. While it is important to practice good hygiene and take precautions when handling bird carcasses, the risk of contracting avian cholera is extremely low for humans.