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September 30, 1961

Injuries by Venomous Animals in the United States

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles

Director, Laboratory of Neurological Research, College of Medical Evangelists, Los Angeles County Hospital.

JAMA. 1961;177(13):903-907. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.73040390001005

INJURIES inflicted by venomous animals are common in many areas of the United States. At least 1,500 persons a year are bitten by venomous reptiles. Venomous fishes, coelenterates, and certain other marine forms are responsible for about 1,800 injuries annually. The number of poisonings by venomous arthropods is not known, but the frequency of reported bee stings in several selected areas studied by questionnaire would indicate that at least 100,000 persons a year are stung by some form of arthropod. Bites by venomous mammals are extremely rare.

Between 1950 and 1954, 215 deaths from venomous animal stings or bites were reported in the United States.1 Seventy-one deaths were attributed to venomous reptiles, 86 to venomous Hymenoptera, and 39 to venomous spiders. The remaining fatalities were inflicted by scorpions, a stingray,2 a coelenterate, and unidentified animals. In relation to population, the death rates were highest in Arizona, Georgia,

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