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Analytical survey of human rabies and animal bite prevalence during one decade in the province of Kerman, Iran

Introduction

In order to find out the frequency rates of domestic and wild animal bites as well as the evaluation of the prevalence rates of rabies disease in the human population in the Province of Kerman, a retrospective study was designed to analyze statistically the collected recorded data related to this project.

Methods

This study was conducted within the framework of MPVM student research projects by means of collaboration between University of Tehran, Veterinary Organization of Kerman, Medical Science University of Kerman and Medical Science University of Rafsanjan and Networks of Health Centers of the 10 cities of Kerman Province.

The required data such as the numbers of persons who were bitten by animals, the distribution of the studied variables such as geographical locations, age groups of people, jobs and professional relationships, pre-exposure prophylaxis treatment for rabies, and topographical conditions of the injured organs of bodies due to the animal bites, as well as the mortality rates of individuals resulting from rabies were collected during one decade from 21 March 1994 to 21 March 2003 in all 10 cities including the rural areas of the province of Kerman. All data were finally analyzed by SPSS software (version 11.5).

Results

On the basis of recorded statistical analysis, the mortality cases of human rabies in the province of Kerman during one decade was 10 persons (eight males and two females). One-half of them (50%) were bitten by dogs and the others (50%) by foxes. Among the reported deaths, 40% were from Kahnooj county (Jiroft region). The reported data indicated that 21,546 persons were bitten by animals during 10 years in the province of Kerman. The mean of age of the people who were bitten by dogs was 24.80 years (SD = ± 14.6), while the mean age of the people who were bitten by foxes was 57.25 years (SD = ± 1.50). There was a significant difference between the mean age of these two groups of the people (P < 0.05). The most frequent rate of injured people was reported in the age group 10–19 years old and the frequency rate of males (76.00%) was more than females (24.00%). Therefore, there was a statistically significant difference between males and females in this study (P < 0.01). About 60% of all persons that were bitten by animals were from rural areas and 40% of them were from urban areas (P < 0.05). Among the people who were bitten and injured by animals during one decade in the province of Kerman, 85.70% of them were not treated by the rabies prophylaxis treatment regimen. Among all of them who were bitten by animals, 50% were injured through hands and feet, 40% of them through heads and faces, and 10% of them through trunks, cervical regions and other organs of the bodies. In the persons who were bitten by animals in the head region, the mean latency period for rabies was 33 days (SD = ± 12.2 days), while the mean latency period in the persons who were bitten through hands and feet was 77 days (SD = ± 45.8 days). The P value was <0.1. The results of this study showed that there is a significant reciprocal correlation between annual raining level and the frequency rate of animal bites in the province of Kerman (r = 0.5, P < 0.01).

Conclusion

According to this study, the role of foxes in the epidemiology of human rabies in the province of Kerman, located in the southeast of Iran, seems very important. Since most of the animal bite individuals, during the one-decade survey in this region of Iran, did not seem aware of the risk of exposure to the viral infection of rabies through animal bites, the public education of preventive measurements of rabies seems imperative by the public health authorities as well as vaccination of animals against rabies, especially dogs and cats, as well as mass vaccination of wild animals by means of distribution of oral vaccines in the vast and scattered forests by helicopters belonging to Veterinary Organization Authorities being recommended. Collaboration of intersectional public health relationships of medical science universities of the province of Kerman as well as all related authorities to control rabies prevalence in the regional and inter-regional provinces of the southeast, the southwest and the neighbor provinces of Fars, Hormozgan, Sistan-Baluchestan and Yazd is very necessary.

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Rezaeinasab, M., Rad, M. Analytical survey of human rabies and animal bite prevalence during one decade in the province of Kerman, Iran. Crit Care 12, P1 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1186/cc6222

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Keywords

  • Rabies
  • Frequency Rate
  • Public Health Authority
  • Oral Vaccine
  • Human Rabies