Dog bite incidence in the city of Pittsburgh: a capture-recapture approach

Am J Public Health. 1997 Oct;87(10):1703-5. doi: 10.2105/ajph.87.10.1703.


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to estimate the number of dog bite injuries occurring in the city of Pittsburgh in 1993.

Methods: The capture-recapture method was used, along with long-linear modeling. Three sources were used to identify victims hospital reports, animal control reports, and police/victim reports.

Results: In 1993, 790 dog bites were reported. The capture-recapture method estimated that there were 1388 unreported dog bites, with an estimated incidence rate of 58.9 per 10,000.

Conclusions: Dog bite is a common our preventable injury. To improve surveillance, the focus should be on educating the general public about the serious consequences of dog bite injuries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bites and Stings / epidemiology*
  • Data Collection / methods
  • Dogs*
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Linear Models
  • Pennsylvania / epidemiology
  • Urban Population