Spatial Distribution of Scorpionism in Ardabil Province, North West of Iran

Authors

1 Disease Control Unit, Sareyn Health Center, Ardabil University of Medical Sciences, Ardabil, Iran.

2 Department of Medical Entomology and Vector Control, School of Public Health, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran.

3 Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health, Ardabil University of Medical Sciences, Ardabil, Iran.

4 Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health, Qom University of Medical Sciences, Qom, Iran.

5 Research Center for Environmental Pollutants, Qom University of Medical Sciences, Qom, Iran.

Abstract

Background
Scorpion stings are the most important health problems in tropical and subtropical countries. The aim of this study was to assess spatial distribution of scorpions and scorpionism in Ardabil province, Iran.
Materials and Methods
This descriptive–analytic study wascarried out in all 10 counties of Ardabil province, Northwestern Iran.The clinical and demographic data of scorpion sting cases were collected from questionnaires belonging to an 8 year - period of 2010 to 2017. In addition, scorpions were captured using Ultra-violet (UV) light, Pitfall traps and digging methods. After species identification, Arc GIS 9.3 software was applied for mapping spatial distribution of them. Data were analyzed by SPSS software (version 21.0).
Results
A total of 958 scorpion sting cases were documented. One hundred ninety cases (19.83%) of them were occurred in age group <19 years. Stings were mostly recorded in rural areas after midnight and in the early morning hours from April to September. Also, nocturnal envenomation was observed with the highest frequency (52.50%). A total of 142 scorpions were collected and identified. The collected scorpions belonged to Butidae and Scorpionidae families. They were classified into two genera (Mesobuthus, Scorpio), and two species: Mesobotus eupeus (99.29%), and Scorpio maurus (0.71%).
Conclusion
There was a high prevalence of scorpion stings in rural areas in Ardabil province among age group less than 19 years old. This finding suggests the necessity of preventive programs for decreasing this higher incidence.

Keywords