Epidemiological Investigation and Sensitivity of Surveillance System in the Report of Scorpion Stings in the Southeast of Iran using the Network Scale-up Method

Hossein Dehghan1
, Alireza Bahonar2, Sina Heydari3
, Reza Faryabi1
, Faezeh Sadat Ghorshi Nasab4, Esmat Rezabeigi-Davarani5, Salman Daneshi1, *

1 Department of Public Health, Jiroft University of Medical Sciences, Jiroft, Iran
2 Department of Food Hygiene and Quality Control, Division of Epidemiology & Zoonoses, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
3 Department of Orthopedics, School of Medicine, Imam Khomeini Hospital, Jiroft University of Medical Science, Jiroft, Iran
4 Student Research Committee, Jiroft University of Medical Sciences, Jiroft, Iran
5 Student Research Committee, Faculty of Management and Medical Information Sciences, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

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Creative Commons License
© 2023 Dehghan et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Public Health, Jiroft University of Medical Sciences, Jiroft, Iran; Tel: 03443310916; E-mail:



Scorpion sting is one of the most common health problems in tropical and subtropical regions, including the south of Iran. The information regarding it can be useful to correctly measure the incidence and mortality rates due to scorpion stings and to identify the high-risk groups to allocate the necessary resources and facilities in case of scorpion stings. This study aimed to investigate the epidemiological characteristics of scorpion stings and quantify the actual cases of scorpion stings in southern areas of Kerman province.

Materials and Methods:

The cross-sectional study was performed using the annual epidemiological data of 3210 scorpion stings registered by the health vice-chancellor of Jiroft University of Medical Sciences in 2020. In addition, the actual cases of scorpion stings were quantified using an indirect estimation method. The network scale-up estimation method was quantified using the average number of people respondents know in anonymous groups and the average size of the individual network of the respondents, and finally, the proportion of people in the high-risk group in the society.


In this study, 240 people (128 men and 112 women) with an average age of 34 years were interviewed. On average, the size of the network for each interviewee was equal to 30 (minimum 26 and maximum 34). Male and female network sizes were almost equal. Based on this information, the total number of people stung by scorpions was estimated to be 3023 people with a 95% confidence interval (2861, 3250), of which 2176 people (72%) were from the rural areas, and the rest were from urban areas. In this study, the ratio of males to females for scorpion stings was 0.9.


The results of the network scale-up estimation method showed that there is no significant difference between the data recorded in the university health department and the network scale-up method. Therefore, it reduces the possibility of undercounting based on the recorded data and shows that the health system is fully alert in discovering and identifying cases. While the most important strength of the collected health data is their accuracy, and this is a feature that should not be neglected.

Keywords: Epidemiological investigation, Sensitivity, Surveillance system, Scorpion stings, Network scale-up method, High-risk.