Ethics. Research. Community.

Epidemiological characteristics of rabies in Delhi and surrounding areas, 1998.

Indian pediatrics. 
[Record Source: PubMed]
OBJECTIVE: To describe the epidemiological characteristics of rabies in Delhi in 1998. METHODS: Analysis of the records of hydrophobia cases admitted to the Infectious Diseases Hospital, Delhi (IDH) in 1998. RESULTS: About 46 percent (99/215) of the hydrophobia cases admitted to the IDH in 1998 belonged to Delhi. The remaining came from the adjoining states, both urban and rural areas. In Delhi residents, overall hospitalization rate was 0.81 per 100,000 population. It was significantly higher in 5-14 year old than in other age groups and in males than in females (p <0.0009). Cases occurred round the year. Almost 96 percent cases (206/215) gave history of animal exposure, 13 days to 10 years (median 60 days) before hospitalization. Majority (195/206) had class III exposure. Animals involved were stray dog (193/206 = 90 percent), pet dog, cat, jackal, mongoose, monkey and fox. Most of cases were never vaccinated (78 percent) or inadequately vaccinated (22 percent); only 1 percent each received appropriate wound treatment, or rabies immunoglobulin. CONCLUSIONS: Rabies is a major public health problem in Delhi. Its incidence is significantly higher in 5-14 year old children than in other age groups. The results indicate the need to educate the community and health care workers about the importance of immediate and adequate post-exposure treatment and to start an effective control program for dogs, the principal vector of rabies.
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