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Epidemiological situation of dog bites in Nunavik-Québec (2008-2017) - Sarah Mediouni, Mario Brisson, Marie Rochette & André Ravel

5:15 PM, Saturday 5 Oct 2019 (30 minutes)
Dog bites are considered as a public health issue in Canada and around the world. In northern Québec, arctic rabies is still endemic with cases being identified, in different animal species, almost every year. With regards to the important role they play in Inuit communities, dogs represent a meaningful source of exposure for humans. The purpose of the present study was to investigate dog bite occurrence in Nunavik through the analysis of the public health board database for reported bites. 320 cases of animal-to-human bites were recorded from 2008 to 2017, of which 293 were dog bites (92%). Bite occurrence increased significantly during the study period, especially since 2013. 45% of all bites were seen in children under 15 years old. Males were generally over-represented compared to females (Sex ratio = 1.63) and the age distribution in victims were different between the two (median age for males= 22 y.o/ median age for females= 12 y.o). 15 rabid animals were identified in this study, of which 9 were dogs. The multivariate analysis conducted revealed that children (< 15 y.o) are more likely to be bitten by dogs (OR= 2.32, p <0.05) and more often injured in the head and/ or the neck ((OR= 3.67, p = 0.05). Our study confirms Nunavimiut's actual exposure to the rabies virus and further explores the associations between age, gender, bite, and follow-up of bitten individuals and biting animal. Results reflect the necessity for an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to reduce risk for human and public health at the human-dog interface.
University of Montreal
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