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Gaceta Sanitaria

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PALACIO, Jorge; LEON, Marta  and  GARCIA-BELENGUER, Sylvia. Epidemiological aspects of dog bites. Gac Sanit [online]. 2005, vol.19, n.1, pp.50-58. ISSN 0213-9111.

Animal bites in humans are an important public health problem. Most of these bites are dog bites. The first step in preventing this kind of accident is to identify the associated risk factors. The present article reviews the most important published articles on the incidence of dog bites, their risk factors, and preventive measures. Concerning victim profiles, features such as age, sex, location, and the severity of the wounds are reviewed. Regarding dogs, the most frequent breeds involved and the dog's previous history of aggression are described. In addition, the different contexts in which bites occur are reported. Thus, factors such as dates, number of dogs, places, victim-dog relationship and interaction, and the distinct involved categories of aggression of the canine ethogram are reviewed. The most frequent recommendations found in the literature to reduce and prevent dog bites in the human population are also described.

Keywords : Dog; Dog bite; Rabies; Aggression; Epidemiological studies; Risk factors; Public health; Animal behavior.

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