Rodent Bite Injuries Presenting to Emergency Departments in the United States, 2001–2015
While an increasing number of households are keeping rodents as pets, rats and mice are considered pests and efforts are undertaken to control rodent populations to avoid human–rodent encounters. Tracking the burden of rodent bite injuries can guide prevention efforts. Data for this study were from the 2001–2015 National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Program (NEISS-AIP), a stratified probability sample of U.S. hospitals. Records included information about age, body part affected, cause, diagnosis, case disposition, and sex. We coded narrative descriptions for the source of the bite. Every year, an estimated 12,700 injuries from rodent bites are treated in emergency departments, amounting to roughly one rodent bite injury treated every hour. Rats, mice, and squirrels were the most frequently reported rodents that bit people. The largest percentage of bites, approximately 27%, occurred in individuals <10 years and most bites occurred during the summer months. Injuries, zoonotic diseases, allergies, mental health adverse effects, and the environmental impact of rodent exposures exemplify the need for a multisectoral approach to prevention.
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Speaker / Author:
Ricky Langley, MPH, MD, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
Marilyn Goss Haskell, MPH, DVM, MGH Innovative One Health Solutions
Dariusz Hareza, MD, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Tadesse Haileyesus, MS, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Katherine King, MSW, MPH, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Karin Mack, PhD, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention