The influence of poverty and rabies knowledge on healthcare seeking behaviors and dog ownership, Cameroon

PloS One
Galileu Barbosa CostaRyan M Wallace


Rabies is a fatal encephalitis caused by lyssaviruses, with most human cases worldwide resulting from rabid dog bites. Although effective animal and human vaccines have been available for over 100 years, control efforts have not been adequately implemented on the global scale and rabies remains one of the greatest global zoonotic threats to human health. We conducted a knowledge, attitudes and practices survey in Northern Cameroon to describe dog ownership characteristics, rates of dog bites, and post-bite healthcare seeking behaviors. The survey was performed in four rural Cameroonian communities. A structured community-based questionnaire was conducted over a 20-day period in April 2010, and focused on socio-economic factors correlated with gaps in rabies knowledge. Information pertaining to socio-demographics, as well as attitudes and practices with regard to animal bites and bite treatment practices were recorded. Characteristics of dog ownership such as dog confinement, resources provided to dogs, and dog vaccination status were examined. Human to dog ratios were compared on a linear scale to poverty scores by community. When applicable, 2-tailed Chi-square tests or Fisher's exact tests were calculated to determine relatio...Continue Reading


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