Animal Bites and Rabies Prophylaxis in Rural Children: Indian Perspective

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Abstract

A prospective observational study was conducted in a tertiary care hospital to study clinicoepidemiological profile of potentially rabid animal bite cases from rural India. Total of 308 children (median age 6 years) admitted to hospital, were recruited over 1 year and followed up till completion of antirabies vaccine course. Dog was the commonest (77.27%) offending animal. Of the exposures, 66.88% were scratches, 88.96% were unprovoked and 27.27% were categorized as Class III. The median times to wound toileting and reporting to health facility were 1 and 6 h, respectively. Majority received prompt PEP in hospital, and RIG was administered in 34.55% of Class II and 90.48% of Class III exposures. Compared with their older counterparts, children aged <5 years suffered more bites on face and trunk and more Class III exposures. The rabies prophylaxis scenario is encouraging, when compared with earlier studies, but there are gaps to be addressed.

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