The incidence of public sector hospitalisations due to dog bites in Australia 2001–2013
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Objective: To estimate the incidence of dog bite-related injuries requiring public sector hospitalisation in Australia during the period 2001–13. Methods: Summary data on public sector hospitalisations due to dog bite-related injuries with an ICD 10-AM W54.0 coding were sourced from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare for the study period 2001–2013. Results: In Australia, on average, 2,061 persons were hospitalised each year for treatment for dog bite injuries at an annual rate of 12.39 (95%CI 12.25–12.53) per 100,000 during 2001–13. The highest annual rates of 25.95 (95%CI 25.16–26.72) and 18.42 (95%CI 17.75–19.07) per 100,000 were for age groups 0–4 and 5–9 years respectively. Rates of recorded events increased over the study period and reached 16.15 (95%CI 15.78–16.52) per 100,000 during 2011–13. Conclusion: Dog bites are a largely unrecognised and growing public health problem in Australia. Implications for public health: There is an increasing public sector burden of hospitalisations for injuries from dog bites in Australia.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
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Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified