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Epidemiologic Features of Animal Bite Cases Occurring in Rabies-Endemic Areas of Korea, 2005 to 2009
Myung Guk Han, Ryou Jung Sang, Young Eui Jeong, Young Ran Ju, Jung Eun Cho, Jun-Sun Park
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2012;3(1):14-18.   Published online December 31, 2011
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2012.01.002
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
Human rabies is a reemerging infectious disease in Korea. There was no human rabies case for 14 years until the disease had reoccurred in 1999. To prevent occurrence of human rabies, surveillance for animal bite patients in rabies endemic areas in Korea was conducted since 2005 as a part of a human rabies control program. The animal bite cases were analyzed to determine whether patients were treated according to the post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) guideline of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Methods
Information of animal bite cases that occurred from 2005 to 2009 in rabies high-risk regions were collected by cooperation with Regional Public Health Centers in 18 cities/districts of rabies endemic areas.
Results
A total of 2458 animal bite cases were reported. Dogs accounted for 86% of animal bites and 67% of the animals were not vaccinated against rabies virus. For PEP, among rabies-vaccinated animals, 92.7% were observed for clinical signs and 1.4% underwent necropsy. Among unvaccinated animals, 72.7% were observed for clinical signs and 4.1% underwent necropsy. The remaining animals were not available for examination. Of the animal bite patients, 32.5% received PEP and 51.6% were treated by first aid or by washing the wound.
Conclusions
Given that no human rabies cases were reported since 2005 and animal rabies was continuously reported in endemic areas of Korea, the human rabies control program implemented in 2005 appears to have a significant role in the prevention and control of human rabies.

PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives