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Health Agencies Update
September 28, 2011

Treatment for Scorpion Stings

JAMA. 2011;306(12):1315. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1377

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first treatment specifically for scorpion stings, under its Orphan Drug program.

More than 10 000 scorpion stings were recorded in Arizona alone in 2010, according to Will Humble, MPH, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services (http://tinyurl.com/3se24ea). Venomous scorpions also live in New Mexico and in some parts of California. While such stings do not usually cause serious health problems for healthy adults, they can cause life-threatening illness among infants, children, and older adults. Signs and symptoms can include shortness of breath, pulmonary edema, drooling, blurred vision, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, or abnormal eye or muscle movements.

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