Background: There is no nationally representative community based data or organized surveillance system to get the actual magnitude of Rabies infection in India.
Objectives: To estimate the extent of problem & the epidemiological characteristics of animal bite cases in urban field practice area of KPC Medical College and to assess the risk correlates regarding animal bites.
Methods: The present community based cross sectional study was conducted in the urban field practice area of KPC Medical College; Kolkata during the period from 15th May to 15th June 2013 using classification of exposures as per guidelines lay down by WHO.
Results: In the present study of the reported animal bite cases affected all the ages and both genders; the incidence of animal bites decreased with increasing age. Majority of the victims were males except in elderly population; children were more vulnerable. Two thirds of animal bite victims were from socioeconomic class IV and V. Dogs were the most common biting animal followed by Cats. Maximum number of study participants reported to health centre within 24 to 48 hours and very few cases within 24 hours after bite. Late reported cases, especially after 5 days, constituted by younger children or illiterate elderly people were forcefully brought to the hospital by their family members or caregivers.
Conclusions:Dog bite is common in males and children less than ten years among our study population with more of third degree bites though health seeking behaviour is far from expectation.
Dog bite, Epidemiology, Rabies, Kolkata, Prophylaxis