Characteristics of biting animals submitted to rabies diagnosis, São Paulo State, Brazil, 1993-2007

Epidemiological factors related to animal bites in humans and other animals were obtained from a database with 10,616 records of animal specimens sent for rabies diagnosis in northwest São Paulo State, Brazil, from 1993 to 2007. Of this total, 61.5% contained information on the bites, and among the biting animals (25%), the majority were dogs (67%), followed by cats (21.8%), and bats (8.1%). In 92.1% of the reports the victims were humans, and 82.3% of the animals were home pets. The majority of the biting dogs were less than a year old. There was a significant association (p < 0.0001) between aggressiveness and gender (with male animals more aggressive than females). Of the rabies-positive animals, 75.9% (183/241) were biters. The data are important for establishing bite prevention programs based on the profile of both victims and biting animals, besides identifying risk factors for animal bites.

Rabies; Dogs; Cats; Aggression

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