I know you are the Mr. Know-it-All magician in the Philippines.
Let me ask you this question: with all these stories about bird flu, swine flu, and AIDS virus, may I have your no-nonsense opinion. Is it safe to kiss my dove?
Hi Magic Smoocher,
I didn’t know that I know I’m Mr. Know-it-All, so I guess that disqualifies me from the title.
Yes, you can have all the no-nonsense opinion you want from me. I have been known for giving them away generously.
Why would you like to kiss your dove beats me. Don’t you have a wife or a girlfriend?
Well, here’s the awful truth. Kissing transmits bacteria between kissers, regardless of who you are kissing. Take it from Dionne Warwick who once sang that a kiss “can get you enough germs to catch pneumonia.”
I, too, heard the rumor of the health problems posed by doves and other birds. I set out to find the answer and consulted a professional. Fortunately, Dr. Oyee Sebastian, a veterinarian holding a senior position at the Manila Zoo, is a member of Inner Magic Club.
When asked the question, he said, yes, it’s possible to catch avian-borne diseases from pet birds. After 24 hours, birds’ droppings can become a rich breeding ground for a certain type of virus that can cause the potentially fatal encephalitis or meningitis.
These health hazards are preventable, though. Just make sure you clean the cages once a day and not allow droppings to accumulate in the cage for more than 24 hours. Spray the cage with Lysol. It’s a good idea also to bathe the doves once a day, making sure that no droppings stick to the claws or feathers.
Find a girlfriend if you want to be Gallic with your kiss.