Fairbanks, AK - Alaskans -- especially very young Alaskans -- were much more likely to be killed or seriously injured by dog bites from 1991-2002 than residents of the Lower 48, according to the state Section of Epidemiology. During this period, nine people died and 288 were hospitalized for injuries.
The oldest Alaskan to die was just over 5 years old while nationally half of deaths occurred in people older than 10, the agency reported. Among those who required hospitalization, the rate of Alaska children younger than 4 years old was three times higher than the national rate, the report said.
Eight of the nine deaths were of Alaska Natives, and the mean age of incidents that ended in death was 45 months. Alaska Natives also made up 40 percent of injury hospitalizations. Louisa Castrodale, who complied the report, said the data cannot say why there are a significantly higher number of Native injuries because it focused on ages only and not factors.
Alaska Report at a Glance:
- Deaths (1991-2002): 9
- Median Age: 54 months
- Age Range: 9 to 64 months
- Circumstances: Three cases of free-roaming dogs, three of chained dogs, one victim wandered into dog lot, one attacked indoors by pet, one unknown
- Hospitalizations (1991-2002): 288
- Median Age: 9 years
- Gender of Victim: 57 percent males
- Race: 60 percent Natives
- Average Hospital Stay: 3 days
- Types of Injuries: head and neck, 43 percent; upper extremity, 40 percent