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Rabies menace and control - Knowledge, awareness, and practices among patients in a tertiary care hospital in West Bengal

Pulak Kumar Jana, Tarun Kumar Sarkar, Vinoth Gnana Chellaiyan D, Mrinmoy Adhikary, Sankar Nath Jha.


Background: India accounts for approximately one-third of all human rabies cases in the world, with an estimate of more than 20,000 human rabies fatalities reported annually. Administration of appropriate prophylactic method prevents deaths due to rabies. In prevention and control of rabies, knowledge and awareness in the community are very essential and crucial.

Objectives: The objectives of the study were to assess the awareness regarding animal bite and to determine the practices regarding animal bite in patients attending a rabies clinic in a tertiary care hospital of West Bengal.

Materials and Methods: The study was a cross-sectional, hospital-based study conducted in the rabies clinic of Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital. The duration of the study was from April to May 2016. As the study was undertaken in an outpatient clinic, consecutive sampling method was followed. During the above-said study period, a total of 200 sample size was achieved. Data were analyzed with SPSS IBM software version 21.0. Means and proportions were calculated.

Results: Though 80.5% of the respondents heard the term rabies and 73% knows about the fatal nature of rabies, less than half (48%) were aware about the signs and symptoms of rabies. Majority (73%) washed the area with soap and water. Nearly 91% of the population were given antirabies vaccination but only 4.5% were administered rabies immunoglobulin. Almost half (45.5%) of the population started specific treatment after 24 h after bite.

Conclusion: As majority of the victims were schoolgoing children, sensitization of the students with correct knowledge and practices has to be entertained. In addition, stringent guidelines have to be followed for treatment of all categories of animal bites.

Key words: Rabies; Animal Bites; Knowledge; Attitude

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