Scorpionism in Jordan


Scorpions are a public health problem in the Middle East with several buthid species in the genera Leiurus Ehrenberg, 1828 and Androctonus Ehrenberg, 1828 causing cases of death and serious morbidity every year.

Zuhair Amr and co-workers have recently published an epidemiological study on scorpion envenomations in Jordan between 2006 and 2012. The main conclusion is that scorpion stings remain a medical problem in Jordan as they are in other countries in the region.

Abstract:

Objective

Scorpionism is an endemic public health problem in Jordan encountered by health providers in all parts of the country. This study updates epidemiological data on scorpion sting encounters in Jordan.

Methods

Data on scorpion sting encounters were obtained from government and military hospitals around the country, and the National Drug and Poison Information Center (NDPIC). P values and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using SPSS Professional Statistics Package version 22 (IBM Corp., Armonk, NY) program.

Results

Epidemiological data on 1205 scorpion sting cases reported between 2006 and 2012 are reported. Male to female ratio was 1.18:1, aged 23.3±16 (mean±SD) and 26.4±16.9 years for males and females, respectively. Age groups between 1 to 20 years old constituted 44.6% of the total sting encounters, while adults aged >30 years constituted 30%. Scorpion sting encounters peaked in July (22.5%) and August (23%), with the lowest numbers of recorded cases in February and January (1.6 and 1.9%, respectively). Scorpion stings occurred mostly outdoors (66%). Medical complications associated with scorpion sting cases included fever, difficulty in breathing, drowsiness and dizziness, and numbness, while severe complications include respiratory failure and tachycardia. Hospitalization required 1 to 3 days among admitted patients with no fatalities.

Conclusions

Scorpion stings remain a medical problem in Jordan that requires more attention by health providers. Reporting of scorpion sting cases should be enforced from all healthcare centers throughout the country to better understand the epidemiology and health implications of human encounters.

Reference:
Amr ZS, Al Zou'bi R, Abdo N, Bani Hani R. Scorpion Stings in Jordan: An Update. Wilderness Environ Med. 2017;In Press. [Subscription required for full text]