Abstract | This cross sectional study was conducted by interviewing people attending the anti- rabies ward for post exposure rabies vaccination in a three Government General Hospitals, Chennai city. A total of 256 victims of dog bites from different areas of Chennai were interviewed with a pre tested structured questionnaire after informed verbal consent from victims between April 2013 and April 2014. Out of total 256 victims of dog bite, majority were males (71.87%) in the age group of 11 to 20 years (21.49%). Students outnumbered the general population (33.97%). Higher number of victims of dog bites was reported from Central Chennai. While 46 per cent of victims were bitten by stray dogs,in majority of victims, bite wounds were found in lower portion of the body (59.77%) with major exposure being minor scratches (57.4%). Fifty one per cent of bite victims washed their wounds and 48.44 per cent attended antirabies ward within 24 hours for post exposure prophylaxis. Our findings highlighted that a larger proportion of the bites were provoked, from owned pet dogs with exposures being very minor (scratch) in majority of cases which may not need post bite immunization. There is an urgent need to focus the educational campaigns throughout Chennai city with an effective dog population management combined with strategic immunization program and the effective use of rabies RIG and vaccination in dog bite cases as warranted could help to reduce rabies deaths.
Keywords | Bites victims, Human rabies, Post bite immunization, Risk factors.