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Dog Ecology and the Epidemiological Studies of Canine Rabies in Lokoja, Kogi State, Nigeria

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Dog Ecology and the Epidemiological Studies of Canine Rabies in Lokoja, Kogi State, Nigeria.

ABSTRACT  

Rabies is a viral zoonotic disease that affects both humans and animals. It is worldwide in distribution and its control remains a public health challenge. There is a paucity of information on the epidemiology and public health significance of canine rabies in Lokoja, hence the need for a study of canine rabies and its public health implications in the city and environs.

A descriptive and cross-sectional study was set up to investigate dog ecology, examine factors/circumstances associated with dog bites and vaccination of dogs, and also assess knowledge, attitude, and practices of residents of Lokoja. The study also investigated the presence of rabies antigen in the brain tissues of dogs slaughtered for human consumption in Lokoja.

The dog ecological studies revealed that 778 dogs were counted in the direct street count. There were 444 (57.0%) male dogs and females were 334 (43%), the male-female ratio was 1.33:1. While in the compound survey a total of 295 dogs were counted, males accounted for 180 while the females were 115, and are in a ratio of 1.6:1. Information was obtained from the State Veterinary Clinic and a Private Veterinary Clinic, all in Lokoja on dog bite cases and victims involved and dog vaccination records covering a period of 11 years (2003-2013).

Out of 95 human dog bite cases, 46(48.4%) were in persons between 10-19 years of age, of which 57(60%) were males and 38(40%) were females. The anatomical location of bites indicated a higher frequency on the legs (48%) than other parts of the body. Male dogs had a higher frequency of anti-rabies vaccination (57%) compared to females (43%) The highest rate of vaccination in dogs was within the ages of 3-12 months in both the Government clinic and the private Veterinary Clinic. 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

TITLE PAGE………………………………………………………………………………………………..i
DECLARATION…………………………………………………………………………………………..ii
CERTIFICATION……………………………………………………………………………………….iii
DEDICATION ……………………………………………………………………………………………. iv
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT …………………………………………………………………………….. v
ABSTRACT ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. vi
TABLE OF CONTENTS…………………………………………………………………………….viii
LIST OF TABLES ……………………………………………………………………………………… xii
LIST OF FIGURES …………………………………………………………………………………… xiv
APPENDIX………………………………………………………………………………………………… xv

CHAPTER ONE ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 1
1.0INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………………………………………. 1
1.1 Background Information ………………………………………………………………….. 1
1.2 Statement of Research Problem…………………………………………………………. 3
1.3 Justification of the Study…………………………………………………………………… 4
1.4 Aim and Objectives of the Study ……………………………………………………….. 7
1.4.1 Aim of the Study. ………………………………………………………………………………. 7
1.4.2 Objectives of the Study……………………………………………………………………….. 7
1.5 Research Questions ………………………………………………………………………….. 8

CHAPTER TWO …………………………………………………………………………………………. 9
2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW …………………………………………………………………. 9
2.1 Dog Ecology …………………………………………………………………………………….. 9
2.2 Rabies Vaccination…………………………………………………………………………… 9
2.3 Dog Bites. ………………………………………………………………………………………. 11
2.3.1 Consequences of Dog bites………………………………………………………………… 13
2.4 Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices Towards Rabies…………………………. 15
2.5 Aetiology of Rabies…………………………………………………………………………. 16
2.5.1 Pathogenesis……………………………………………………………………………………. 17
2.5.2 Transmission and Epidemiology…………………………………………………………. 17
2.6 Diagnosis of Rabies…………………………………………………………………………. 20
2.6.1 The Fluorescent Antibody Test (FAT)…………………………………………………. 21
2.7 Control and Prevention of Rabies…………………………………………………….. 21
2.7.1 Post- Exposure treatment in man ………………………………………………………… 23
2.7.2 Post-exposure treatment of dogs by vaccination……………………………………. 23

CHAPTER THREE ……………………………………………………………………………………. 24
3.0 MATERIALS AND METHODS………………………………………………………. 24
3.1 Study Area …………………………………………………………………………………….. 24
3.2 Study Design………………………………………………………………………………….. 27
3.3 Dog Ecology …………………………………………………………………………………… 27
3.3.1 Dog population enumeration by Street count ………………………………………… 27
3.3.2 House to house survey of dog population using questionnaires………………… 28
3.4 Records on Dog Bite Cases and Dog Vaccination ………………………………. 29
3.5 Knowledge, Attitude and Practice ……………………………………………………. 29
3.6 Dog Brain Tissue Sampling, Collection, and Processing………………………. 30
3.6.1 Sample size determination …………………………………………………………………. 30
3.6.2 Sample collection …………………………………………………………………………….. 31
3.6.3 Fluorescent antibody test procedure and interpretation of results. …………….. 31
3.6.4 Data analysis …………………………………………………………………………………… 32

CHAPTER FOUR………………………………………………………………………………………. 33
4.0 RESULTS ……………………………………………………………………………………… 33
4.1 Dog Ecology …………………………………………………………………………………… 33
4.1.1. Direct street counts of dogs ……………………………………………………………….. 33
4.1.2 House to house survey of dogs in Lokoja……………………………………………… 33
4.1.3 Dog population structure in Lokoja……………………………………………………… 33
4.1.4 Management and care of dogs in Lokoja………………………………………………. 33
4.1.5 Knowledge in cases of dog bites management and consequences in Lokoja 38
4.2 Vaccination of Dogs………………………………………………………………………… 41
4.3 Human Exposure……………………………………………………………………………. 41
4.4 Knowledge, Attitude and Practice. …………………………………………………… 51
4.4.1 Demographic characteristics of respondents …………………………………………. 51
4.4.2 Knowledge of respondents towards rabies ……………………………………………. 51
4.4.3 Attitude of respondents towards rabies………………………………………………….. 57
4.4.4 Practice of respondents towards rabies…………………………………………………. 62
4.5. Detection of Rabies Antigen among Slaughtered Dogs by Direct
Fluorescent Antibody (DFA) Technique……………………………………………. 66
4.5.1. Distribution of dogs by sources ………………………………………………………….. 66

CHAPTER FIVE ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 69
DISCUSSION…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 69

CHAPTER SIX ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 74
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS ………………………… 74
6.1 Summary……………………………………………………………………………………….. 74
6.2 Conclusion …………………………………………………………………………………….. 74
6.3 Recommendations ………………………………………………………………………….. 76

REFERENCES…………………………………………………………………………………………… 78
APPENDICES……………………………………………………………………………………………. 91

INTRODUCTION  

Rabies is an acute contagious and highly fatal disease of all warm-blooded animals caused by the rabies virus. Rabies is one of the most feared of all diseases because of its terrifying symptoms which almost invariably end with death. Rabies remains incurable and survivors are extremely rare (Alvarez et al., 1996). The rabies virus is of the genus lyssavirus which encompasses other similar viruses. Rabies virus travels to the brain by following the peripheral nerves.

The incubation period of the disease depends on how far the virus must travel to reach the central nervous system, usually taking a few months, (Haig1976; Moran et al, 2008). In a man like all other viral diseases, it begins with fever, headache and muscle aches, sore throat fatigue, and nausea. The characteristic symptom that strongly suggests rabies is a tingling sensation at the site of virus entry, usually an animal bite.

These early symptoms begin one to several months after virus entry and progress rapidly to symptoms of encephalitis, agitation, confusion, hallucinations, seizures, and increased sensitivity to light sound, and touch (Haig 1976; Moran et al2008). Although all species of mammals are susceptible to rabies infection only a few species are important as reservoirs for the disease (Garba et al., 2009).

The domestic dog is the main reservoir for the rabies virus in Nigeria (Oboegbulem 1994, 2010; WHO, 2010). It is reported that 99% of rabies victims contracted the disease from dogs (Fagbemi et al., 1980) and it is common knowledge among the populace that rabies results from dog bites. The saliva of a rabid dog has been documented to contain the rabies virus and serves as a medium for the transmission of infection (Bishop et al., 2002; CDC, 2007). 

REFERENCES

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Adeyemi, I. G., Adetunji, V.O., James, V.O. and Alonge, D. O. (2005). Ten year (1993-
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Ahmed, H., Chafe, U.M., Magaji, A.A. and Abdul-Qadir, A. (2000). Rabies and dog
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CSN Team.

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