Methods of Controlling Disease Transmitted by Animal Bites

Methods of Controlling Disease Transmitted by Animal Bites;- Animal bites are a serious public health concern for both children and adults around the world. The size, condition, and access to adequate medical care of the bitten person, as well as the type and health of the animal species, all affect the health effects of animal bites.

There are many animal species that have the ability to bite people, but the most significant ones are those from snakes, dogs, cats, and monkeys. Read More

Animal Bites
Animal Bites

Common Diseases Transmitted by Animal Bites


Rabies is a disease that affects wild animals such as jackals, mongooses, fox and hyaenas. These animals may infect domestic animals such as dogs and cats. It is incidentally transmitted to human beings by a bite of a rabid animal, commonly domestic dogs or cats.

  • Rabies is an important public health problem because when no immediate action is taken after the bite by an infectious animal, the disease is fatal.
  • The virus has preference for the salivary glands and nervous tissue, finally causing encephalitis, and resulting in death.

Clinical manifestations

  1. Anxiety
  2. Violent behavior
  3. Seizures
  4. Hallucinations
  5. Depression
  6. Paralysis of the limbs
  7. Spasm of pharyngeal muscles
  8. Fear of water (hydrophobia)

Methods for Controlling Rabies

  1. Notify authority because Rabies is  a notifiable disease
  2. Provide antirabies serum or vaccine to affected individuals
  3. Give health education about preventive measures, such as regular immunization of dogs and cats (at least every 3 years) and killing of stray dogs
  4. Pre-exposure vaccination to high risk individuals, such as veterinary officers

Key Points 

  • Rabies is the most common human disease caused by animal bite
  • Death can be avoided if immediate action is taken for those who have been bitten by a suspect dog
  • Control measures include immunization of domestic dogs and individuals with high risk of exposure.


  • Cook, G. Zumla, A. (2003). Manson’s Tropical Diseases. (21st ed).  London: Saunders Ltd.
  • Eshuis J, & Manschot, P (1992).Communicable diseases,(1st ed). Nairobi: AMREF
  • GoT (2013) Standard Treatment Guidelines & National Essential Medicines List (4thed). Dar es Salaam: MOHSW
  • Manson-Bahr PEC.,& Bell DR (2004). Manson’s Tropical Diseases (21sted). London. Bailliere Tindall.
  • Nordberg, E., Kingondu T., Mugambi E., Musyoka L, & Otieno F (2007).Communicable Diseases(4thed). Nairobi: AMREF
  • Nordberg, E., Kingondu, T., Mugambi, E., et al. (2008) Communicable Diseases. (4th ed.). Nairobi: AMREF.