Epidemiological profile of animal bite patients attending emergency department at a tertiary care health facility in a northern hilly Indian city

Sanjay Kumar, Anmol Gupta, Amit Sachdeva, Ankit Chaudhary, Shaina Chamotra


Background: Rabies is a highly infectious zoonotic disease with a high case fatality rate. In India, approximately 20,000 deaths among 17.4 million exposed people occur every year. The data on animal bites is scarce and unreliable due to poor surveillance and hence, the projected figures are far less from the actual numbers. The present study was conducted to describe epidemiological characteristics of animal bite patients attending casualty department at a tertiary care Government health facility in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh.

Methods: It was a retrospective study based on secondary data received from animal bite register for year 2017 at casualty department of the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital, Shimla, Data of 1512 patients attending the casualty department with history of animal bite was included for the study purpose.

Results: About 58% of victims were males and the maximum (22.6%) animal bites were seen in 21-30 years age group. Majority (51.6%) of patients were exposed to dog bites, followed by monkey bites (42.85%) and cat bite 49 (3.2%). About 69.9% of animal bites were in the lower limbs, followed by upper limbs (22.1%), abdomen (4.4%) and head and neck region (3.6%). Maximum bites were category III bites (74.6%) followed by of category II bites (12.9%).

Conclusions: Study highlights the neglected but significant picture of animal bite in the Shimla city. Timely and correct post exposure prophylaxis for the animal bite victims is necessary to prevent rabies. This should be supplemented with a robust surveillance and reporting system. With the global aim of zero rabies deaths by 2030; it is time to strengthen the anti-rabies activities at every level.


Animal bite, Rabies, Post exposure prophylaxis, Tertiary care institution

Full Text:



Prevention and control of rabies in South‐East Asia Region. World Health Organization, Regional Office for South East Asia. New Delhi: SEA‐Rabies. 2004: 1‐17.

WHO. Weekly epidemiological record, no.32; 2010.

Dhiman AK, Thakur A, Mazta SR. Treatment seeking behavior of the dog bite patients in Himachal Pradesh, India: a qualitative study. Int J Community Med Public Health. 2016;3:2064-9.

Sahu KK, Manar MK, Singh SK, Singh H. Epidemiological characteristics of patients attending for rabies post exposureproph-ylaxis at the infectious diseases hospital of Lucknow, India.J Global Infect Dis. 2015;7:30-2.

Ganesh NS, Parande MA, Gayathri V. Epidemiological determinants of animal bite cases attending the anti-rabies vaccination (ARV) clinic at B.J. Medical College and Sassoon general hospital, Pune, Maharashtra. APCRI J. 2016;18(1):6-10.

Singh J, Jain DC, Bhatia R, Ichhpujani RL, Harit AK, Panda RC, et al. Epidemiological characteristics of rabies in Delhi and surrounding areas, 1998. Indian Pediatr. 2001;38:1354‐60.

Sudarshan MK, Mahendra BJ, Narayan DH. A community survey of dog bites, anti‐rabies treatment, rabies and dog population management in Bangalore city. J Commun Dis. 2001;33:245‐51.

Srinivas PJ, Prasad KKL, Appalanaidu S. Profile of dog bite victims attending anti rabies clinic, King George Hospital, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. APCRI Journal. 2015;16(2):20-2

Harish BR, Mahendra BJ, Subhash BP, Vinay M. Profile of women reporting to Anti Rabies clinic at Mandya Institute of Medical Sciences, Mandya, Karnataka. APCRI J. 2010;12(1):26-9.

Jahnavi R, Vinay M, Manuja LM, Harish BR. Profile of patients attending anti rabies clinic in a government tertiary care hospital in south Karnataka and their compliance to 4 dose intra dermal rabies vaccine. APCRI J. 2015;17(1):12-5.