Retrospective: animal attacks and rabies exposures in Thai children.Travel Med Infect Dis. 2006 Sep; 4(5):270-4.TM
Over 50% of animal bites and potential rabies exposures in Thailand are in children and they also have the more severe injuries due to inexperience, smaller size and less ability to fend off attacks. Potential rabies exposures and animal bites are common in Thailand. Majority of these are in children where the extent of the injuries is also much more severe. The bitten areas correlate to the age of the children and level of the bitten animal head. These are areas noted for a higher risk of infection with rabies virus and shorter incubation periods. The vast majority of bites are due to dogs (86%) of which 74.6% are stray or community-owned animals. The prevalence of dog bites shows no seasonal variation in adults but there are two peaks during school vacation period for children. Extensive educational efforts directed at the Thai public are responsible for the rapid presentation of victims for post-exposure treatment. The dramatic reduction of human rabies deaths in Thailand during the last decades was achieved largely by the provision of expensive WHO standard post-exposure treatment, utilizing modern tissue culture vaccines and immunoglobulins. Canine and feline rabies is nevertheless still endemic and not likely to be controlled or eliminated till sustainable humane methods of dog population control and comprehensive countrywide canine rabies vaccination become possible through government policy.