The prevalence of rabies and animal bites during 1994 to 2003 in Kerman province, southeast of Iran

Document Type: Full paper (Original article)

Authors

1 Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Medical Sciences and Health Services of Rafsanjan, Rafsanjan, Iran

2 Graduated from Faculty of Sciences, University of Tehran and MSc student in National Institute of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

4 Kerman Veterinary Organization, Kerman, Iran

5 WHO Collaborating Center for Reference and Research on Rabies, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran

6 Department of Social Medicine and Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Medical Sciences of Kerman, Kerman, Iran;

7 Graduated from Faculty of Civil Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran and academic member of Faculty of Engineering, Rafsanjan Vali-E-Asr University (RVU), Rafsanjan, Iran

8 Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

To find the prevalence of domestic and wild animal bites in general, and that of rabies disease in human,
in particular in Kerman province, southeastern Iran, a retrospective study was conducted. The necessary data
including residence place (urban or rural) of bitten persons, age and job of people were collected during a 10-
year period from 21 March 1994 to 21 March 2003 from all regional cities including the urban and rural
areas of the province. Data were analysed by chi-square, Fisher’s exact test, Pearson correlation coefficient,
Student’s t-test and Kolmogrov Smironov test using SPSS (v. 11.5). The results of the present study showed
that the fatal cases of human rabies in the province of Kerman from 1994 to 2003 were 10 persons (8 males
and 2 females), half of whom had been bitten by dogs and the others by foxes. No human rabies reported in
1994 in Kerman province. 47% of animal bitten persons had been injured through feet; 41% hands; 7%
trunks; 3% faces and 2% through head and neck. From all (21,546 people) who had been bitten by animals
during the studied period, 55.57% were living in rural and 44.43% in urban areas; 79.36% of them were
treated by non-completed rabies prophylaxis regimens and 20.64% received completed rabies prophylaxistreatment
regimens. The most common affected age group was 10–19-year-old persons; the least was
children aged under 4 years. Males were more frequently (73.48%) affected than females (26.52%) (PWe found that there was a significant inverse correlation between the amount of annual raining and the
incidence of animal bites (r = 0.5, P = 0.01); the incidence of animal bites was increased during the drought
years. The increasing number of stray dogs and cats should not be ignored by public health authorities as well
as Veterinary Public Health Organizations related to strategic programs of rabies control in the southeast of
Iran.