Epidemiological characterization of bites on people, as emergency care record. Province of Los Andes, Chile

Background: Bites constitute a public health problem worldwide. Aim: To characterize epidemiologically bites by animals happened in the province of Los Andes (2005-2007). Method: Descriptive, retrospective epidemiological study. Studied variables: Bitten person (BP), accident by bite, biting animal and bite. It was not feasible to obtain more updated information by law of patient protection. Results: 2,360 BP were assisted in the emergency unit of San Juan de Dios Hospital and Rio Blanco clinic. An annual average rate of 729 BP/100,000 inhabitants and 1.99 daily average was recorded. The male gender was most affected (53.5%) and the age group from 6 to 10 years old. (Rate:.521/100,000). Most frequent topographic location was the lower limb, except in children under 5 year olds in whom predominated head and neck. The biting animal according to frequency was: the dog (67.1%) spider (7.1%) and cat (3.9%). The animal property was 35.6% known and 30.7% own. The most frequent problems were: nonspecific allergy; toxic effect by spider bites and among the infections, the disease made by cat's scratch stands out. Regarding the record system, the biting animal complaint was applied to 47.6% of the BP and the 92.8% of the recorded information was incomplete. Conclusions: Bites reported higher rates in the province of Los Andes than the average of the country (729 versus 188/100,000), standing out the higher magnitude in 6 to 10 year-old-children. It is noticed that the record is low and incomplete. In this province, no bite control programs or updated studies have been carried out.
Bites, epidemiology, surveillance, zoonosis, dogs, rabies