Incidence of dog bite injuries and clinical rabies in a tertiary health care institution: A 10-year retrospective study

  • SA Abubakar
  • AG Bakari
Keywords: Dog bite, incidence, prophylaxis, rabies

Abstract

Background: It is widely recognized that rabies is grossly under-reported even though it is a notifiable disease and a lack of accurate figures has rendered rabies a low public health and veterinary priority. This study aimed at determining the incidence of dog bite injuries and clinical rabies in a tertiary health care centre.
Materials and Methods: Case records of patients managed at the accident and emergency unit of Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, between June 2000 and May 2010 with diagnosis of dog bite and rabies were retrieved. Relevant clinical data were extracted using a structured questionnaire designed for the study.
Results: Eighty-one persons out of 24,683 consultations in the accident and emergency unit presented with dog bite injuries with two clinical cases of human rabies. Mean age of victims of dog bite injuries was 21.1 ± 14.3 years and the majority (55.6%) were children. Males were more affected than females with a male:female ratio of 4.8:1, lower limb/buttock injuries were significantly higher in children than adults, but the adults sustained significantly more severe (type III) injury. The majority of dog bite injuries were washed with soap and irrigated with water or saline and 87.7% of the victim of dog bite received postexposure anti-rabies vaccine.
Conclusion: Hospital incidence of dog bite injuries was low, but the use of postexposure prophylaxis was high.
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eISSN: 1596-3519