Sharp rise in dog bite cases in Arizona

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PHOENIX (AP) — Health officials say the number of cases of people treated in Arizona for dog bites has risen dramatically in the last few years.

State Department of Health Services director Will Humble said Thursday that incidents of severe dog bites that required hospitalization have more than doubled in the last five years.

According to Humble, there has been a 139 percent increase in patients requiring at least one night of hospital stay for treatment of a dog bite.

Humble says 2,358 people were hospitalized between 2008 and 2012.

He says 34,151 emergency room visits involving dog bites were documented in that same period.

Humble says he wanted to look into the statistics on dog bites in the wake of a dog mauling last month that left a 4-year-old boy severely injured.

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