Epidemiological and clinical survey of scorpionism in Khuzestan province, Iran (2003)
Delavar Shahbazzadeh, Aref Amirkhani, Navid Dinparast Djadid, Shahla Bigdeli, Abolfazl Akbari, Hamed Ahari, Hossein Amini, Rouhullah Dehghani
Epidemiological and clinical survey of scorpion envenomation was carried out by statistical method of stratified cluster random sampling in Khuzestan, the southern province of Iran, cross-sectionally. We analyzed 12,150 cases recorded in Emergency Unit of the hospitals of six cities in Khuzestan province during the year 2003. The prevalence rate of human scorpion stings in the province is 3.1/1000 inhabitants. The percentage of prevalence in selected cities was as follows: Masjed-Soleiman (27.1%), Ramhormoz (26.6%), Izeh (15.3%), Shush (12%), Baghmalek (11.7%), and Behbahan (7.3%). The scorpions, responsible for the majority of stings in Khuzestan province of Iran were identified as 53.3% yellow (Mesobuthus eupeus, Hottentotta saulcyi, Odonthobuthus doriae and Hemiscorpius lepturus), and 17.4% black (Androctonus crassicauda and Hottentotta schach), and 29.3% unknown colors. Most stings occurred throughout the year, however, the highest and lowest frequency occurs in June (16.0%) and February (0.6%), respectively. Nocturnal envenomations (60.9%) were more common than diurnal (39.1%), and 39.3% of stings were on the hands and 37.3% on the feet Most envenomings were mild (74.5%) that all evolved to cure, except for three deaths. Envenomation was characterized by local pain (63.3%), erythema (10.1%), vomiting (1.3%), restlessness (0.6%), hyperthermia (0.5%), sweating (0.4%), and spasmic (0.3%). With respect to the outcoming results, scorpionism in Khuzestan province of Iran is a public health problem, which needs to be monitored carefully by the government.