Geographic Distribution of Scorpion Exposures in the United States, 2010-2015

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ObjectivesTo 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.MethodsWe 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).ResultsThe 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.ConclusionsScorpion exposures occurred at baseline rates throughout many of the southern states, whereas several states reported effects indicative of Arizona bark scorpion envenomation.Public Health ImplicationsPublic and health care provider education, as well as the stocking of antivenom, should be targeted based on these findings.

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