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Deadly Fungal Diseases Spread by Birds

The environmental and infectious disease control experts at Clark Seif Clark (CSC) provide consulting and testing services to help prevent outbreaks of Cryptococcus and other pathogens.


Cryptococcosis is a potentially deadly disease caused by Cryptococcus fungi.  The major species of Cryptococcus that causes illness in humans is Cryptococcus neoformans, which is found worldwide.  Since 1999, C. gattii, which can also cause infections, has also been found in regions of the Pacific Northwest.
C. neoformans typically infects immune-compromised persons. Most people in the United States who develop this infection are HIV-infected or have other conditions impacting their immune system. However, occasionally persons with no apparent immune system problems develop cryptococcosis. A wide range of animals can also develop C. neoformans cryptococcosis.
The spores from C. neoformans live in bird droppings, especially pigeon droppings, and in soil contaminated with bird droppings. Humans can get cryptococcal infections by the inhalation of airborne fungi which are spread from these sources.   Cryptococcosis is not known to be spread from person to person, animal to animal, or from animals to humans.

“It’s important that bird droppings not be allowed to accumulate in or around buildings where people live or work.  Birds often roost on roofs near air intakes or in attics and deposit waste, nests and carcasses. These accumulations result an increased risk of people developing cryptococcosis and an increased risk of structural failure,” reported Derrick A. Denis, V.P. of Indoor Environmental Quality at Clark Seif Clark, a leading provider of indoor air quality (IAQ) and environmental testing services.  “Workers cleaning nuisance bird debris should be trained and protected. Environmental testing can determine if the pathogenic fungi are present to help prevent outbreaks.”

CSC has sponsored an educational video about the risks associated with Cryptococcus fungi that can be seen at:
To learn more about how Clark Seif Clark can help with indoor air quality (IAQ), industrial hygiene, environmental and health and safety projects please visit, email or call (800) 807-1118. 
About Clark Seif Clark (CSC)
CSC was established in 1989 to help clients in both public and private sectors address environmental, IAQ, and health and safety (EH&S) issues.  CSC is a leading provider of these services with multiple offices along the western seaboard and southwest. The company believes in science-based protocols and has a strong background in engineering, making them the preferred environmental consultants to healthcare facilities, architects, schools, builders, contractors, developers and real estate professionals.


 Indoor Air Quality
 Infectious Disease

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