Predicting scorpion sting incidence in an endemic region using climatological variables

G. Chowell, J. M. Hyman, P. Díaz-Dueñas, N. W. Hengartner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Scorpionism is a public health problem in several regions of the world. The highest mortality, with over 1000 deaths per year, has been reported in Mexico. We analysed the significance of climatological variables to predict the incidence of scorpion stings in humans in the state of Colima (Mexico) for the years 2000-2001. The pluvial precipitation (mm), the evaporation (mm), and the mean, maximum, and minimum temperatures (°C) were obtained from local meteorological offices. There are approximately 3 stings/year per 1000 people in municipalities of Colima and Villa de Alvarez and about 18-30 stings/ year per 1000 people in the rest of the municipalities. There is very little rain and there are few stings in the winter when the minimum temperature is below about 16°C. The number of scorpion stings is independent of the actual rainfall when this is above 30 mm/month. Using multiple linear regression, we used a backward model selection procedure to estimate that the minimum temperature is correlated with scorpion sting incidence with a statistically significance of 95%. We briefly discuss the application of predictive models of scorpion sting incidence in the appropriate allocation of antivenom serum in hospital clinics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-435
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Health Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Climate
  • Correlation
  • Rainfall
  • Scorpion
  • Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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