Prevalence and demographic distribution of canine rabies in Plateau State, Nigeria, 2004 – 2009
Rabies, a neglected tropical disease, is one of the most fatal diseases. Around 55,000 people die from rabies annually with over 99% of these deaths occurring in Africa and Asia.
A retrospective study of rabies cases was carried out in Plateau state, Nigeria, 2004 – 2009. Cases reported to the central diagnostic laboratory (CDL) of the national veterinary research institute, Vom, Nigeria were investigated. Head samples from cats and dogs were received by CDL for rabies diagnosis; the majority (98%) of the samples were from dogs. ArcMap 10 (ESRI, Redlands, CA) was used to produce choropleth maps to present the geographical distribution of the prevalence of canine rabies in Plateau state. IBM SPSS version 20.0 was used to run the paired samples t-test and odd ratio.
The risk of developing rabies cases was found to be higher amongst patients with previous history of dog-bites. No consistent month-wise seasonal patterns of canine rabies was identified. Geographical distributions of cases in the state revealed concentration of disease on the plateaux in each year of the study. This study revealed that factors such as poor vaccination coverage of owned dogs, high population of stray dogs and/or low confinement of domestic dogs and lack of revision and enforcement of regulations/ laws for impoundment and elimination of stray dogs are responsible for the observed canine rabies situation in the state. These problems were discussed and recommendations were suggested.
Keywords: Canine-rabies, rabies control, rabies-demography, Plateau state, Nigeria