Characteristics of the human and pet populations in animal bite incidents recorded at two Air Force bases.
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Characteristics of the human and pet populations in animal bite incidents recorded at two Air Force bases.

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    • Alternative Title:
      Public Health Rep
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      Animal bites reported at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., and Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., were investigated to determine the incidence of reported bites and possible causes. Data were collected by abstracting information contained in animal bite files maintained by the Base veterinary Office. A total of 696 bite incidents were reported for the 24 months from January 1976 through December 1977. An overall incidence rate of 1,390 bites per 100,000 persons was calculated from these statistics. This rate is far greater than the previous estimates of 800 animal bites per 100,000 for an urban population. Males less than 18 years old were the group most frequently bitten; they had an incidence rate of 2,419 bites per 100,000. These data support the hypothesis that animal bites occur more frequently than previous studies have shown. Most bites resulted in minor injuries to the victim and were inflicted on the extremities. The incident occurred most commonly on the owner's property. The highest incidence of bites occurred during the summer months and in the early afternoon and evening. Animals in the study had a bite rate of 7.36 per 100 animals. The rate was significantly higher for male dogs 1 to 4 years old (12.1 bites per 100 male dogs). Certain breeds of dogs were more frequently involved. Collies and German shepherds ran twice the risk of being biters as mixed breed dogs. Working breeds and sporting breeds also had a higher risk of being biters than toy breeds as well as a higher rate of more severe bites than toy breeds.
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