Arch Iran Med. 2024;27(5): 272-276.
doi: 10.34172/aim.2024.39
  Abstract View: 208
  PDF Download: 82

Original Article

Trends in Animal Bites and Rabies-related Deaths in Northern Iran: Implications for Public Health Interventions

Ali Davoudi Kiakalayeh 1* ORCID logo, Zakiye Gharib 2, Reza Mohammadi 3, Leila Kanafi vahed 1, Sajad Davoudi-Kiakalayeh 2

1 Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, School of Medicine, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran
2 Guilan Trauma Institute, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran
3 Division of Family Medicine and Primary Care, Division of Social Medicine, Department of NVS, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
*Corresponding Author: Ali Davoudi Kiakalayeh, Email: davoudikiakalayeh@gmail.com


Background: Rabies remains a public health problem in middle-income countries like Iran, despite being preventable. This study aimed to evaluate the six-year incidence of animal bites in the southern Caspian Sea region from 2016 to 2022, and focus on estimating the direct costs of animal bite cases using the incidence-based method.

Methods: A multicenter, registry-based study was conducted using surveillance data of animal bites.

Results: Of the 40922 cases reported during the study period, 65.9% were male and 34.1% were female. Animal bites were most frequent among individuals over 50 years of age (23.5%), while children under 10 years of age had the lowest frequency of animal bites (2.3%). Animal bites were most common in June. Dogs were responsible for 33277 (81%) cases, cats for 5,624 (13.7%) cases, cows for 1054 (2.5%) cases, and other animals for the remaining cases. During the six-year study period, four deaths due to rabies were reported in the study area. The annual bite incidence rate was 386.3 per 100000 people in northern Iran. The males-to-female ratio was highest in 2019 (M/F ratio=2.4, 95% CI=1.2‒3.4).

Conclusion: The elderly are at higher risk of animal bites, especially in rural areas. It is important to emphasize the use of protective clothing, washing wounds with soap water and rabies vaccination as initial treatment. Targeted vaccination efforts for eligible animals should be prioritized to minimize unnecessary financial burden. Educating farmers about rabies prevention programs, especially in cases of cow bites, is also important.

Cite this article as: Davoudi Kiakalayeh A, Gharib Z, Mohammadi R, Kanafi vahed L, Davoudi-kiakalayeh S. Trends in animal bites and rabies-related deaths in northern Iran: implications for public health interventions. Arch Iran Med. 2024;27(5):272-276. doi: 10.34172/aim.2024.39
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Submitted: 04 Feb 2024
Accepted: 16 Mar 2024
ePublished: 01 May 2024
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