Dog Bites and Rabies: A Decade Perspective in Nigeria (2005-2014)
Tekki Sini Ishaya*, Odita Christiana Ibironke, Idachaba Ejura Stella, Akanbi Babatunde Olatunde, Moses Davou Gyang, Barde Joshua Israel, James Ahmed Saidu, Rimfa Amos Gambo, Kumbish Rinle Peterside, Agama Christianah, Zhakom Ponfa Nden and Okewole Ademola Philip.
Abstract Rabies is a fatal zoonotic encephalitis caused by the rabies virus commonly transmitted to human and other mammals by dog bites. A 10 year review of dog bite cases in humans from 2005 to 2014 was undertaken from archives of the rabies laboratory, National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI) Vom, Nigeria to assess the magnitude of dog bites and associated risks of human exposure to rabies among bite victims. Of the 1, 840 cases reported, the highest and the lowest rates of bite occurred on 2009 and 2007 respectively. Children constituted 31.5% of the victims, 36.0% were adults, while 32.5% had no age indications. Male victims formed 46.7% of the cases, 38.4% involved females while the genders of the remaining 14.9% were not given. Similarly, prevalence of rabies cases were highest and lowest in 2009 and 2007 respectively while the overall prevalence of rabies-positive dog bite cases during the decade were high (61.1%). However, rabies public campaigns by indigenous veterinary professional groups during the initial editions of the world rabies day improved the level of awareness, which possibly led to the rise in reported cases of dog bites in 2009, while the considerable drop in the cases and probably in rabies in subsequent years, could have been due to vaccination of a considerate number of the dog population. Appreciable reduction in dog bite cases and in rabies nationwide in Nigeria, are only achievable when stakeholders determine to tackle dog bites by supporting responsible ownership and annual mass vaccination of dogs and cats against rabies as well as quarantining or controlling their movements. In rural Africa, where the risk of dog bites and rabies is greatest, it is important to raise public awareness on the roles of accurate laboratory diagnosis and surveillance in the national rabies control and monitoring program.
Key words: Dog bite cases, Humans, Rabies, Nigeria