Study on Community Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Rabies in and Around Dessie City

Research Article

Austin J Vet Sci & Anim Husb. 2016; 3(1): 1020.

Study on Community Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Rabies in and Around Dessie City

Shumye Gebeyaw* and Daniel Teshome*

School of Veterinary Medicine, Wollo University, Dessie, Ethiopia

*Corresponding author: Shumye Gebeyaw, School of Veterinary Medicine, Wollo University, Dessie, Ethiopia Daniel Teshome, School of Veterinary Medicine, Wollo University, Dessie, Ethiopia

Received: February 26, 2016; Accepted: April 04, 2016; Published: April 06, 2016


Rabies is one of the disastrous diseases for both animal and human beings. Questionary survey was conducted in and around Dessie town from November 2013 to June 2014. A semi- structured questionnaire was administered to 139 respondents comprised of 96 from urban and 43 from peri-urban areas to assess knowledge, attitude and practice of community about rabies. The current study generally illustrate the presence of significant difference on knowledge, and practice of the respondent from urban and peri-urban areas (P<0.05). Although more than (96%) of the respondents were familiar with the disease, there is mis-perception about the cause and means of transmission of the disease. Starvation and thirst were mentioned by (49.6%) of the respondents as causes of the disease in dogs and 21.6% of them stated any type of contact (irrespective of the skin condition) with saliva of affected individual can transmit the diseases. The result also established that 124(91.9%) of the respondents were aware that human and other different species of domestic animals can be affected by rabies. However, all repsondents (100%) in peri-urban area perceived dog as the only source of infection for human being. Traditional medicine was stated as method of treatment in case of dog bite by 46% of the respondents whereas, 41.7% of respondent used post exposure vaccination. Only 35.8% of the respondent did vaccinate their dogs and level of low vaccination practice was higher in periurban area. Raising awareness about dog vaccination and improving access and affordability of the vaccine should be considered in control of the disease.

Keywords: Attitude; Dog; Knowledge; Practice; Rabies


Rabies is a deadly disease for both animal and human beings. Rabies is a viral disease transmitted by the bite or scratch from a rabid animal [1]. Rabies virus infects the central nervous system, causing encephalopathy and ultimately death. The virus is a single stranded RNA virus belonging to the genus Lyssavirus of the family Rhabdoviridae [2].

Rabid dogs are the principal source for transmission to human [3]. The virus is present in the saliva of the biting rabid mammal. Transmission almost always occurs by an animal bite that inoculates virus into wounds. Virus inoculated into a wound does not enter the bloodstream but is taken up at a nerve synapse to travel to the brain, where it causes encephalitis. The virus may enter the nervous system fairly rapidly or may remain at the bite site for an extended period before gaining access to the nervous system. The approximate density of nerve endings in the region of the bite may increase the risk of developing encephalitis more rapidly. Rarely, the virus can be transmitted by exposures other than bites that introduce the agent into open wounds or mucous membranes [2].

It is manifested by motor irritation with clinical signs of mania and an attack complex, salivation, inability to swallow and by a progressive ascending paralysis beginning in the pelvic limbs and moving forward to the trunk and thoracic limbs and death [4]. Diagnosis of rabies can made based on history of bite, clinical signs and laboratory investigations [5]. The method of laboratory investigation of rabies virus comprises isolation and identification of the agent, immune-chemical testes, serological testes and molecular techniques [6].

Rabies is endemic in developing countries of Africa and Asia. The disease causes heavy losses in human and livestock population in the endemic region. Rabies infection has a case fatality rate of almost 100 %, it accounts for over 55,000 human deaths annually, with most cases in Asia and Africa [1]. About 98 % of human rabies deaths have been documented to have been caused by almost and always bite of a rabid dog [7].

The annual cost of rabies in Africa and Asia was estimated at US$583.5 million most of which is due to cost of Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) [8]. In Ethiopia, rabies remains to be one of the most feared highly endemic infectious diseases. The annual death due to rabies was estimated to be 10,000, which makes it to be one of the worst affected countries in the world [8]. The presence of high population of dogs with poor management contributes for high endemicity of canine rabies in Ethiopia. In canine rabies endemic countries like Ethiopia, rabies has also significant economic importance by its effect on livestock and in Africa and Asia, the annual cost of livestock losses as a result of rabies is estimated to be US$12.3 million [8].

Prevention and control can be achieved by strict quarantine measures, elimination of stray dogs, extension program, control of rabies in wild life, registration of dogs and prophylactic vaccination [4]. Quantitative information of the disease both in animal and human and community participation plays a crucial role to control the disease. However, there is lack of information on the situation of human and animal rabies the level community awareness about the disease was not or little known.

The objective of this thesis is:-