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Clinical and epidemiological aspects of scorpion stings in the northeast region of Brazil

Aspectos clínicos e epidemiológicos dos acidentes escorpiônicos na região do nordeste do Brasil

Scorpion stings are a serious public health issue in tropical and subtropical countries. This is a descriptive and retrospective study of the clinical-epidemiological characteristics of scorpion sting cases registered in the Health System in the city of Campina Grande, Paraíba state, from 2007 to 2012. Data was collected from the Injury Notification Information System data banks of the Ministry of Health. A total of 2,283 records, provided by the Third Health Sector of Campina Grande, were analyzed. Data revealed that the majority of the victims are female aged between 20 and 29 years, and the highest incidence of stings was in the urban area. Victims were mostly stung on the feet and hand. Serotherapy was not administered in most cases. The majority of the victims received medical assistance within 1 to 3 hours after the sting. The most prevalent clinical manifestations were pain, edema and paresthesias. Most cases were classified as mild, though seven deaths were reported. The high incidence rate suggests that this town may be an endemic area of scorpion stings, supporting the need to develop strategies to control and prevent scorpion stings.

Paraíba State; Scorpion stings; Human poisoning; Scorpions; Epidemiology; Public health

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