Background: Rabies is an acute fatal viral encephalitis that usually transmitted from animals to man followed by domestic and wild animal bites.
Objective: To identify the level of general awareness and knowledge of wound management and rabies among the cases of animal bite and to study the awareness of people about antirabies vaccines and health service utilization.
Materials and Methods: Cross-sectional institutional study was conducted in 406 animal bite victims presenting to the tertiary care hospital, Rewa, Madhya Pradesh. A pretested and structured oral questionnaire was used to elicit the required information regarding knowledge of animal bite victims about animal bite and rabies, its transmission, prevention, and control. Data were analyzed using graphpad software.
Result: All 406 animal bite victims knew about injury after animal bite. 54.9% victims knew about fatality of rabies, 63.7% victims knew that rabies is caused by biting of animal, and 17.4% knew that rabies is transmitted by saliva. Source of information was health facility for 48% victims. 85.5% victims knew about application of antiseptic solution on animal bite wound. 34% victims knew about correct number of injection, 40.4% knew about correct site, and 33.3% knew that ARV should be taken immediately. 57.9% victims knew that observation should be done in animal. 33.1% victims knew that local treatment should be taken as soon as possible.
Conclusion: This study has shown that the community level knowledge is satisfactory about rabies, its prevention, and control. Knowledge found to be low for the modes of rabies transmission, prevention methods after suspected animal bite, the first action taken in the home after bitten by a suspected animal and for ARV.
Key words: Animal bite, knowledge, rabies, ARV, India