Original Article

A Preventable Public Health Challenge in Southeastern Turkey: Rabies Risk-Contact Cases


  • Özgür Söğüt
  • Mustafa Burak Sayhan
  • Mehmet Tahir Gökdemir
  • Hanife Pınar Kara

Received Date: 20.05.2010 Accepted Date: 11.07.2010 Eurasian J Emerg Med 2011;10(1):14-17


It is projected that about 10 million persons are being treated worldwide every year due to contact with rabies-suspect animals. In this study, we aim to emphasize that rabies risk-contact cases are important public health problems for our region, and that the solution lies in an eff ective and accurate prophylaxis.

Materials and Methods:

Demographical data of 742 cases who presented to the emergency departments of three diff erent hospitals in Sanliurfa between January 2007 and February 2009 due to animal bites and contacts were accessed from the “rabies risk-contact cases examination form” register, which were then entered into the previously prepared data forms.


A total of 501 (67%) cases were male, while 241 (33%) were female, with an average age of 22.78±0.63 years. The most commonly involved animals were dog (61.3%) and cat (33%) bites in our study. The majority (70%) of the cases entered into the prophylactic vaccination program were biting cases The remainder of the cases were included into the program due to scratching (28%) and suspicious indirect contact (2%). 3 doses of protective vaccines were administered to 439 (59%) of the cases and 5 doses to 303 (41%) of the cases. Addtionally, 114 of the cases were treated with human rabies immune globulin. No rabies infections developed in the cases included into the vaccination program.


It is indicated that there is an unsolved public health challenge in Sanliurfa and its vicinity due to the prevalence of cattle biting in addition to pet-related biting incidents.

Keywords: Rabies risk-contact, prophylaxis, public health