Demographic and epidemiological characteristics of scorpion envenomation and daily forecasting of scorpion sting counts in Touggourt, Algeria
Boubekeur Kaouthar, L¡¯Hadj Mohamed, Selmane Schehrazad,
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( Boubekeur Kaouthar ) - University of Sciences and Technology Houari Boumediene Faculty of Mathematics
( L¡¯Hadj Mohamed ) - Ministry of Health, Population and Hospital Reform Health and Hospital Reform Services
( Selmane Schehrazad ) - University of Sciences and Technology Houari Boumediene Faculty of Mathematics
Abstract
OBJECTIVES: This study was conducted to provide better insights into the demographic and epidemiological characteristics of scorpion envenomation in an endemic area in Algeria and to identify the model that best predicted daily scorpion sting counts.
METHODS: Daily sting data from January 1, 2013 to August 31, 2016 were extracted from questionnaires designed to elicit information on scorpion stings from the two emergency medical service providers in Touggourt, Algeria. Count regression models were applied to the daily sting data.
RESULTS: A total of 4,712 scorpion sting cases were documented, of which 70% occurred in people aged between 10 years and 49 years. The male-to-female ratio was 1.3. The upper and lower limbs were the most common locations of scorpion stings (90.4% of cases). Most stings (92.8%) were mild. The percent of people stung inside dwellings was 68.8%. The hourly distribution of stings showed a peak between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. The daily number of stings ranged from 0 to 24. The occurrence of stings was highest on Sundays. The incidence of scorpion stings increased sharply in the summer. The mean annual incidence rate was 542 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. The fitted count regression models showed that a negative binomial hurdle model was appropriate for forecasting daily stings in terms of temperature and relative humidity, and the fitted data agreed considerably with the actual data.
CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that daily scorpion sting data provided meaningful insights; and the negative binomial Hurdle model was preferable for predicting daily scorpion sting counts.
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Data analysis; Statistical models; Scorpion stings; Touggourt; Algeria
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