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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Scorpion stings occur in temperate and tropical regions, especially between the latitudes of 50°N and 50°S of the equator. Furthermore, stings predominantly occur during the summer and evening times. [1] In addition, the majority of patients are stung outside their home.

Accurate statistics on scorpion envenomation are not available. Many potentially dangerous scorpions inhabit the underdeveloped or developing world. Consequently, numerous envenomations go unreported, and true incidence is unknown. However, it has been estimated that there are 1.2 million scorpion stings per year. [3]

A 5-year surveillance study in Saudi Arabia found 6465 scorpion sting cases with a mean patient age of 23 years, a male-to-female ratio of 1.9, and a higher incidence of stings in the months of May through October. [7]

In Khuzestan province of Iran, 12,150 annual cases occurred, with nocturnal envenomations occurring 60.9% of the time, 39.3% stings occurring on the hands, and 37.3% stings occurring on the feet. June was the highest month for stings, at 16%, and February, the lowest at 0.6%. [8]

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