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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 139  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 459-462

Demographics of animal bite victims & management practices in a tertiary care institute in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India


1 Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Seth GS Medical College & KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
2 University of Massachusetts Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

Date of Submission29-Jun-2011
Date of Web Publication9-May-2014

Correspondence Address:
N J Gogtay
Additional Professor, Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Seth G.S. Medical College & KEM Hospital, New M.S. Building 1st Floor, Acharya Donde Marg, Parel, Mumbai 400 012
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 24820842

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   Abstract 

Background & objectives: Rabies is an important public health problem worldwide and more than 55,000 people die annually of the disease. The King Edward Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, is a tertiary referral centre where a rabies clinic runs 24 hours. In view of lack of information about the demographics of the disease in an urban environment the present study was carried out.
Methods: Data on 1000 consecutive animal bite victims presenting to the institute in 2010 were collected over a 15 wk period. An electronic database was specially created for capturing information and was modelled on the information available from the WHO expert consultation on rabies, 2005. Economic burden from the patients' perspective was calculated using both direct and indirect costs.
Results: The victims were largely males (771 subjects). The dog was the major biting animal (891, 89.1%).Bites were mainly of Category III (783, 78.3%). One twenty three subjects used indigenous treatments only for local wound care. Of the Category III bites, only 21 of 783 (2.7%) patients were prescribed human rabies immunoglobulin (HRIG) which was primarily for severe bites or bites close to or on the face. A total of 318 patients did not complete the full Essen regime of the vaccine. The median cost to the patient per bite was ` 220 (3.5 USD).
Interpretation & conclusions: Our findings showed that the use of HRIG was low with less than 2 per cent of the Category III patients being prescribed it. As vaccine and HRIG continue to remain expensive, the intradermal vaccine, shorter regimes like the Zagreb regime and monoclonal antibodies may offer safer and cost-effective options in the future. Further studies need to be done in different parts of the country.

Keywords: Animal bites - dog - HRIG - urban environment - vaccination


How to cite this article:
Gogtay N J, Nagpal A, Mallad A, Patel K, Stimpson S J, Belur A, Thatte U M. Demographics of animal bite victims & management practices in a tertiary care institute in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India . Indian J Med Res 2014;139:459-62

How to cite this URL:
Gogtay N J, Nagpal A, Mallad A, Patel K, Stimpson S J, Belur A, Thatte U M. Demographics of animal bite victims & management practices in a tertiary care institute in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India . Indian J Med Res [serial online] 2014 [cited 2020 Apr 8];139:459-62. Available from: http://www.ijmr.org.in/text.asp?2014/139/3/459/132211

Rabies is an important public health problem worldwide and more than 50,000 people die annually of the disease [1] . The annual estimated number of dog bites in India is 17.4 million, leading to estimated

18,000-20,000 cases of human rabies per year [2] . As rabies is not a notifiable disease in India and most deaths occur in rural areas where surveillance is poor, it is widely believed that this figure may be an underestimate. In the past, a large proportion of rabies patients did not receive any vaccination, and many did not complete the full course. Sudarshan et al[3] showed that the nerve tissue vaccine formed the mainstay of treatment; a high proportion of bite victims (39.5%) did not follow wound care, the use of rabies immunoglobulin was low (2.1%) and recourse to indigenous treatment was widely prevalent [3] .

The King Edward VII Memorial (KEM) Hospital in Mumbai, India is a tertiary referral centre with a rabies clinic that runs 24 hours. The present observational study was carried out in July to September 2010 in the rabies clinic of KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India, to collect demographic data on animal bite victims.

The study protocol was approved by the institutional review board and written, informed consent/assent was obtained from the bite victims over a 15 week period in 2010. An electronic database modelled on the information available from the WHO expert consultation on rabies was used [4] . Briefly, demographics, the Kuppuswamy index 2007 [5] , past history of dog bite, nature of the bite, whether the animal was a pet or a stray, extent of injury, post bite treatment, and status of biting animals following the bite were collected from 1000 consecutive patients. Economic burden from the patients' perspective was calculated using both direct and indirect costs.


   Results & Discussion Top


The victims were largely male (771, 77.1%), and the dog was the major biting animal (891, 89.1%). Bites were mainly of Category III 783 (78.3%). Only 308 victims washed their wounds with soap and water [Table 1].
Table 1: Demographic characteristics of the patients (n = 1000)

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All patients received the rabies vaccine free. Of the Category III bites, only 21/783 (2.7%) patients were prescribed human rabies immunoglobulin (HRIG). Of these 21, only two patients received HRIG from the hospital, while eight bought it from outside and the remaining did not actually take it for want of funds. Thirty two per cent did not complete the full Essen regime.

Patients visited the hospital from 2-6 times after the bite. The median cost to the patient per bite was ` 220 (3.5 US D) (range 10-8440; the upper figure indicating expenditure with HRIG). The number of working days or school days lost ranged from 0-12 days.

The present study conducted in 1000 consecutive patients in a tertiary referral centre in the city of Mumbai showed that Cat III bites form the majority of bites, only a quarter of these patients were actually prescribed HRIG, and eventually less than 2 per cent took it.The WHO recommendations include immediate wound washing, expeditious administration of rabies vaccine and for severe categories of exposure, infiltration of purified rabies immunoglobulin (RIG) in and around the wound [6] . RIG is rarely administered in low-income countries because it is expensive (from US D25 to over 200 depending on whether it is of equine or human origin) [7] and in short supply [8] . Therefore, it is usually only post-exposure vaccination (without RIG) that is administered and our study confirms this. The primary reasons for non administration for HRIG in our study was the limited budget allocation for the HRIG, non availability at times in the market place and very few doses actually available for use. A limited quantity of equine RIG was previously available on the hospital schedule and was replaced in May 2010 in favor of the relatively safer HRIG.

Our study also showed that despite the bites occurring in an urban set up, only indigenous practices were used by 12.3 per cent patients [Table 1]. This was lower than that reported by Sudarshan et al[3] , and was similar to the study done by Icchpujani et al[9] in 1357 patients where 10.8 per cent of victims resorted to harmful and/or indigenous practices.

Rabies is considered one of the world's most neglected diseases in developing countries with a disproportionate burden amongst the rural poor and children [10] . In countries enzoonotic for rabies, cell culture vaccines continue to remain in short supply and unaffordable [11] . In Mumbai city, the preventive measures include 24 wards where dog bite cases are registered, a dog licensing department that carries out sterilization of stray dogs and liasoning with non government organizations (NGOs) for dog adoption and 18 municipal hospitals and 31 dispensaries where the vaccine is given free of cost [12] . The pilot project initiated by the National Centre for Disease Control in 2008 in five Indian cities to train medical professionals in animal-bite management and raising public awareness is one such initiative [13] . As the rabies vaccine as well as RIG continue to remain expensive, regimes with fewer doses like the Zagreb regime, the intradermal vaccine and monoclonal antibodies are likely to offer safe and cost-effective treatment option in the years to come [14] .


   Acknowledgment Top


Authors thank Dr Sanjay Oak, Director, Seth GS Medical College & KEM Hospital, Mumbai, for permission to carry out the study, Dr Brett Leav, Mass Biologics, USA, for funding support for two authors (KP and SJS) to work at the institute and Dr Prasad Kulkarni, Serum Institute of India, Pune, for help in manuscript preparation.

 
   References Top

1.Meslin FX, Briggs D. Eliminating canine rabies, the principal source of human infection: what will it take? Antiviral Res 2013; 98 : 291-6.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.Gongal G, Wright AE. Human rabies in the WHO Southeast Asia region: Forward steps for elimination. Adv Prev Med 2011; 2011 : 383870.   Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.Sudarshan MK, Mahendra BJ, Madhusudana SN, Ashwoath Narayana DH, Rahman A, Rao NS, et al. An epidemiological study of animal bites in India; results of a WHO sponsored national multi-centric rabies survey. J Commun Dis 2006; 38 : 32-9.   Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.WHO Expert Consultation on Rabies. WHO Technical Report series 931. Available from: http://whqlibdoc.who.int/trs/WHO_TRS_931_eng.pdf, accessed on March 31, 2010.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.Kumar N, Shekhar C, Kumar P, Kundu AS. Kuppuswamy socioeconomic status scale-updating for 2007. Indian J Pediatr 2007; 74 : 1131-2.  Back to cited text no. 5
[PUBMED]    
6.WHO recommendations for rabies post-exposure prophylaxis. 2010. Available from: www.who.int/entity/rabies/PEProphylaxisguideline.pdf, accessed on March 31, 2010.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.Knobel DL, Cleaveland S, Coleman PG, Fevre EM, Meltzer MI, Miranda ME, et a l. Re-evaluating the burden of rabies in Africa and Asia. Bull World Health Organ 2005; 83 : 360-8 .  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.Hampson K, Dobson A, Kaare M, Dushoff J, Magoto M, Sindoya E, et al0 . Rabies exposures, post-exposure prophylaxis and deaths in a region of endemic canine rabies. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2008; 2 : e339.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.Ichhpujani RL, Chhabra M, Mittal V, Singh J, Bhardwaj M, Bhattacharya D, et al. Epidemiology of animal bites and rabies cases in India. A multicentric study. J Commun Dis 2008; 40 : 27-36.   Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.Bourhy H, Dautry-Varsat A, Hotez PJ, Salomon J. Rabies, still neglected after 125 years of vaccination. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2010; 4 : e839.  Back to cited text no. 10
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11.Sudarshan MK, Gangaboraiah B, Ravish HS, Narayana DH. Assessing the relationship between antigenicity and immunogenicity of human rabies vaccines when administered by the intradermal route: results of a metaanalysis. Hum Vaccine 2010; 6 : 562-5.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.Available from: www.mcgm.gov.in/irj/go/km/docs/documents/MCGM, accessed on September 19, 2013.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.Chaterjee P. India's ongoing war against rabies. Bull World Health Organ 2009; 87 : 890-1.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.Bakker AB, Python C, Kissling CJ, Pandya P, Marissen WE, Brink MF, et al. First administration to humans of a monoclonal antibody cocktail against rabies virus: safety, tolerability, and neutralizing activity. Vaccine 2008; 26 : 5922-7.  Back to cited text no. 14
    



 
 
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