br Materials and methods br Discussion

Materials and methods

In this study, the incidence rate of animal bites in Babol County per hundred thousand nitric oxide synthase inhibitors had an increasing trend from 130 in 2010 to 195 in 2014 that was alike the national average. In the Mazandaran Province, due to the environmental conditions of the region, about 20000 animal bites were reported during the years 2001-2005. The highest incidence of animal bites has been reported in Behshahr County, Mazandaran Province, with 302 animal bites per hundred thousand population.
In a study conducted in Rafsanjan, Kerman Province, the incidence of animal bites in 2003, 2004, 2005 were estimated to be 180, 195 and 241 cases per hundred thousand population, respectively. In this study and other studies, the increasing trend in animal bites can be attributed to increasing awareness of people to refer to rabies prevention centers or may be due to an actual increase, which should be investigated in other studies specifically.
In our study, the proportion of male victims was 82.7% and the ratio of male to female was 4.78. In a study in Tehran, Iran, 79.16% of bites occurred for men. In another study in Mazandaran Province (North Iran), the frequency of bites in men was 79.62%. The similar proportion in south of India was 72.4% for males. It seems that the higher frequency of injuries in males is associated with their greater presence in the open environment due to their occupational condition and non-occupational activities and more exposure as well as their courage.
According to the data of this present study, the mean age of the victims was 33.68 years (SD = 17.23). The most frequent age group in victims belonged to the age group of 18–30 years for males and 30–45 years for females. The study of Sheikholeslami et al. in Rafsanjan City, Kerman, Iran reported the average age of the bitten victims as 27 years old with a standard deviation of 17.1. Eslamifar et al. reported the most biting group aged 20–29 with 30.1% in Tehran (capital of Iran). About 47.5% of victims were children aged 2–18 years. Kassiri in a study in Shoush County, Ahvaz, Iran, showed that the maximum rate had happened in the age group 10–20 years with 33.4% frequency. Most cases of animal bites in other studies in Iran were in age range of 10–19 years and 20–29 years, respectively. It seems that the high frequency of animal bites in adolescents and young adults is due to close contact with animals and stimulating aggressive modes in animals.
According to the findings of this study, farmers had the lowest proportion of animal bites (12.2%), while in other studies, that farmers comprised a notably bigger proportion of animal bites mainly due to more exposure to the animals. The fact that in this study, farmers comprised a small proportion of the victims may be, to some extent, due to the touristy nature of the study site. Numerous people come to the area for vacation but they usually are unfamiliar with the animals and do not know how to behave with them. As a result, they become bitten, especially by the dogs.
In the present study, in terms of the geographical distribution of animal bites, 65.9% of the bites occurred in rural areas. These results are consistent with other studies conducted in Iran. It seems that the high incidence of animal bites in rural region is because of the agricultural and animal husbandry occupation of these people which puts them in more exposure to animals. We found dogs and cats as the most common dominant biters. In other studies conducted in Iran, dogs were responsible for the majority of animal bites. A potential reason for this finding may be the key role of the dogs in the rural life and the closeness of human beings with the dogs in such places. In terms of the biters species, 95.9% were pets. The majority of wild animals were wolves, foxes, tigers and other animals (Table 2). Given that most of the animal bites have happened by pet animals, the need for appropriate behavioral skills training in dealing with these animals is important for the group exposed to risk. The vaccination of pets, especially dogs, is emphasized.