What is the global incidence of scorpion envenomation?

Updated: Nov 09, 2018
  • Author: David Cheng, MD; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
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Answer

Scorpion stings are a major public health problem in many underdeveloped tropical and subtropical countries, especially Sahelian Africa, South India, the Middle East, Mexico, and South Latin America. [1, 2] The estimated annual number of scorpion stings is 1.2 million leading to 3250 deaths (0.27%). [3] For every person killed by a venomous snake, 10 are killed by a venomous scorpion. In Mexico, 1000 deaths from scorpion stings occur per year. In the United States, only 4 deaths in 11 years have occurred as a result of scorpion stings. Furthermore, scorpions can be found outside their normal range of distribution, that is when they crawl into luggage, boxes, containers, or shoes and are unwittingly transported home via human travelers.


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