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Indian J Public Health. 2019 Sep;63(Supplement):S9-S14. doi: 10.4103/ijph.IJPH_374_19.

A multicentric community survey on animal exposures among humans in India.

Author information

Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.
Additional Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Centre for Public Health, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.
Former Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.



Rabies is a 100% fatal disease. There are inadequate data on animal exposures and rabies postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) from community-based field surveys in India.


: The main objective of the study is to estimate the incidence of animal exposures (bite, scratch, or lick) in the study population and to describe the rabies PEP among the cases.


A descriptive survey was conducted in seven states of India between July and November, 2017. In each state, multistage sampling methodology was followed for selection of district, taluka/tehsil, block, and clusters within the block. The primary sampling unit was a household (HH). A case was a patient with animal exposure (bite, scratch, or lick) in the last 1 year from the date of survey. The animal exposure was categorized based on the WHO guidelines (Category-I, Category-II, and Category-III). The patients with the history of multiple animal exposures any time during the survey period was considered as a single case.


A total of 1012 HHs were surveyed covering a population of 4294. 3016 (70.2%) participants were from rural settings and 1278 (29.8%) were living in urban settings. 2181 (50.8%) participants were male and 2113 (49.2%) were female. The annual incidence of animal exposure was 1.26% (confidence interval [CI]: 0.93%-1.59%). The annual incidence in urban setting was 1.33% (0.70 - 1.96) and rural settings were 1.23% (CI: 0.84 - 1.62). Majority (68.5%) of the cases were from rural settings, 61.2% of the cases were in the age group of 15-60 years. Among the 43 cases who had received PEP, 21 had Category-II exposures, of whom 66.7% had completed vaccination with either five doses intramuscular or four doses intradermal route. Similarly, 22 had Category-III exposures and only 4 (18.2%) cases had received rabies immunoglobulin and completed rabies vaccination. Six ( 11.1%) cases did not receive PEP. There was no report of human rabies case.


The incidence of animal exposure was 1.26%. Rabies PEP in the cases was not satisfactory.


Animal exposure; India; human rabies; postexposure prophylaxis


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