Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

p. 399-410

Incidence and severity of scorpion stings in Algeria

Laïd, YBoutekdjiret, LOudjehane, RLaraba-Djebari, FHellal, HGuerinik, MGriene, LAlamir, BMerad, RChippaux, J. P

Scorpion stings are a public health problem in the Maghreb region. In Algeria, epidemiological data were collected over the past twenty years by the Algerian health authorities. This study is an analysis of morbidity and mortality data collected from 2001 to 2010. Annual incidence and mortality due to scorpion envenoming were 152 ± 3.6 stings and 0.236 ± 0.041 deaths per 100,000 people (95% CI), respectively. The risk of being stung by a scorpion was dramatically higher in southern areas and central highlands due to environmental conditions. Incidence of envenoming was especially higher in the adult population, and among young males. In contrast, mortality was significantly higher among children under 15 years, particularly ages 1-4. Upper limbs were more often affected than lower limbs. Most stings occurred at night, indoors and during the summer. Data collected since 2001 showed a reduction of mortality by nearly 50%, suggesting that the medical care defined by the national anti-scorpion project is bearing fruit.(AU)

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