Geographic distribution of scorpion envenomations in the USA


Kang and Brooks recently published a epidemiological study on the geographic distribution of scorpion envenomations in the USA in 2010-2015. Most cases were reported from Arizona (57 168), where the infamous Arizona Bark Scorpion (Centruroides sculpturatus Ewing, 1928) is medical important species. Eight other US states also had scorpion envenomations (ranging from 9659 to 906 cases).

Health consequences of scorpion envenomations are also discussed.

Abstract:
Objectives. To determine the geographic distribution of scorpion envenomations in the United States by zip code, with particular attention to the neurotoxic Centruroides sculpturatus (Arizona bark scorpion), for which an antivenom is available.
Methods. We obtained scorpion exposure cases for 2010 to 2015 from the National Poison Data System. Using geographic information systems software, we mapped total exposures and incidence rates for 9 states that reported more than 100 annual calls. We also mapped cases that reported fasciculations and nystagmus (unique to C. sculpturatus among native scorpions).
Results. The highest exposure incidences occurred in Phoenix (up to 677 per 100 000 population) and Tucson (584), both in Arizona. Elsewhere, high incidences were found in El Paso, Texas (213); Oklahoma City (209) and Tulsa (178), Oklahoma; and Las Vegas, Nevada (170). Fasciculations and nystagmus were reported in Arizona and southeastern Nevada, with small numbers in surrounding states, including Utah.
Conclusions. Scorpion exposures occurred at baseline rates throughout many of the southern states, whereas several states reported effects indicative of Arizona bark scorpion envenomation.
 

Reference:
Kang AM, Brooks DE. Geographic Distribution of Scorpion Exposures in the United States, 2010-2015. Am J Public Health. 2017;107(12):1958-63. [Subscription required for full text]