Prevalence Of Dog Bites In A Rural Community: A 15 Year Review Of Cases In Okoyong, Cross River State, Nigeria
AbstractThis retrospective study was undertaken to assess the prevalence of dog bites in Comprehensive Health Centre, Okoyong south-south Nigeria. Eleven cases of dog bite were recorded out of a total of 25,000 patients seen during a fifteen- year period (1990-2004). This gives a prevalence of 44 per 100,000 population. The age of the patients ranged from 16 to 43 years, with a mean of 27.1+ 8.3. Male to female ratio was 1:0.8. The treatment of patients consisted of analgesics, antibiotics, tetanus toxoid and antitetanus serum. We did not have any recorded case of rabies, in spite of the fact that none of the patients had rabies vaccination nor antirabies immunoglobulin. All the patients reported late to hospital, the mean duration before presentation being 10.23 days. The follow up was extremely poor as most patients never reported for follow up after the initial treatment as outpatient or discharge following admission. We conclude that the prevalence of dog bites in this health centre is low (0.04%).We recommend more comprehensive community-based studies to adequately assess the burden of this problem. Current regulations on the management of dog bites should be strictly followed by the attending medical personnel. KEY WORDS: Okoyong, Dog bites, Prevalence.
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