Scorpion envenomation in the state of São Paulo, Brazil: spatiotemporal analysis of a growing public health concern

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Scorpion envenomation is a significant public health concern in São Paulo, Brazil, and its incidence and mortality have increased in recent decades. The present study analyzed documented scorpion envenomation notifications from 2008 to 2018 throughout the 645 municipalities of São Paulo. Annual incidence and mortality rates were calculated and stratified according to sex and age. The local empirical Bayesian method and Getis-Ord Gi* statistic were used to represent standardized incidence rates in the municipalities and to identify high- and low-risk agglomerates. The incidence rate of scorpion envenomation quintupled between 2008 and 2018. Overall, the risk was higher for man, and increased with age. Deaths due to envenomation, however, were concentrated almost entirely in children 0–9 years of age. Incidence maps showed that the risk of envenomation increased in almost all regions and municipalities of São Paulo throughout the study period. The highest incidence rates were found in the western, northwestern and northern regions of the state, in contrast to the São Paulo metropolitan area and southern and coastal regions. Hot spots were identified in the Presidente Prudente, Barretos, São José do Rio Preto, and Araçatuba regional health districts, which over time formed a single high-risk cluster. In spatial terms, however, deaths were randomly distributed. In this study, we identified areas and populations at risk of scorpion envenomation and associated–fatalities, which can be used to support decision-making by health services to reduce human contact with these arachnids and avoid fatalities, especially in children.
Lacerda AB, Lorenz C, Azevedo TSD, Candido DM, Fan HW, Eloy LJ, et al. Scorpion envenomation in the state of São Paulo, Brazil: spatiotemporal analysis of a growing public health concern. PloS One. 2022 Apr;17(4):e0266138. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0266138.
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