INTRODUCTION

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Scorpions play an important role in cases of severe human toxicity in Morocco. Previous epidemiological studies showed that scorpion stings accounted for 30% of all the envenomation cases reported to the Poison Control Center of Morocco (CAPM) and mainly occurred in South and Central South provinces of the country, where the highest mortality rate (up to 53‰) has been reported.

Ninety percent of the fatal victims were younger than 10 years old (24). According to data from the national strategy against scorpion stings, approximately 25000 stung patients are currently recorded every year in Morocco.

In other North African countries, besides Morocco, the genera Androctonus and Buthus are most frequently involved in scorpion stings. Androctonus species, which are considered very aggressive to humans, are responsible for the highest envenomation frequency and severity; they are endemic and well adapted to the presence of humans. Androctonus mauretanicus mauretanicus is the most lethal scorpion species in Morocco (22). One componentof the national strategy against scorpion stings is an information system which was established, based on a national records and hospitalization files, to trace morbidity and mortality indicators. The present study aimed at investigating such indicators using the national records from Khouribga province, Morocco, over 3 years (2001, 2002 and 2003) as well as at describing the province specific epidemiological map, defining the disease prognosis, and, finally, assessing the impact of the national control strategy on scorpionism.

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