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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in Delaware Medical Journal Volume 61, Issue 1, January 1989, Pages 17-20. © Medical Society of Delaware.


Animal bites have become alarmingly common and may represent a quiet epidemic. It is estimated that between 1 and 3.5 million animal bites occur annually in the United States. The highest incidence has consistently been in 5-to-14-year-old schoolchildren, who have greater contact with animals, especially house pets, on a daily basis. This article discusses the epidemiology, microbiology, clinical findings and management of animal bites infections.