A Retrospective Study of Rabies Cases Reported at Vom Christian Hospital, Plateau State, Nigeria, 2006 – 2010.


Rabies is a zoonosis of public health importance in Nigeria. Exposure to bites of rabid dogs is the cause of over 99% of human cases of rabies worldwide. Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) is a vital aspect of clinical rabies prevention in humans. The aim of this study was to determine the magnitude of rabies disclosure among dog-bite victims (DBVs) and their compliance with a PEP regimen. We reviewed patient records of DBVs who were treated at the Vom Christian Hospital, Plateau State, from 2006 - 2010, obtained information on patient demographics and rabies status of implicated dogs from patients' hospital records. A trend of reported rabid dog bites in children was determined. We assessed compliance of DBVs with the recommended dosage regimen for PEP which is local wound treatment followed by vaccine therapy on days 0, 3, 7, 14 and 30. Over the five-year period, 713 DBVs were reported; 377(52.9%) were children <15 years, 404(56.7%) were males and Rabid dog-bites among children increased exponentially from 2007(6/1,000,000) to 2009(41/1,000,000) with a steep decline in 2010 (24/1,000,000). Of all DBVs, 677 (95%) first sought veterinary care. Of all implicated dogs, 305(42.8%) were tested and 299 (98.0%) were positive for rabies. Nearly all (99.6%) DBVs were treated using human diploid cell rabies vaccine, while only 49.1% completed the recommended doses. Of the 299 DBVs bitten by rabies-positive dogs, 59.2% completed the regimen and were likely to be PEP compliant than those bitten by untested dogs (p<0.01). No mortalities among DBVs were reported to the hospital. Rabies in dogs is a serious public health problem in Plateau State, in which children constitute the highest proportion of rabid DBVs reported. We recommend joint sensitization of physicians and veterinarians about the need for detailed DBV and animal information for rabies management.



Rabies, Dog bite victims, Post Exposure Prophylaxis, Nigeria