Epidemiological, clinical characteristics and outcome of snake envenomation in northern khuzestan province, southwestern iran

Hamid Kassiri,1,* Farzaneh tandis ,2

1. School ofHealth, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran



Many species of venomous snakes are found in iran. the most medically important species which are responsible for the most snakebite incidents in iran belong to the viperidae family, including vipera lebetina, echis carinatus, pseudocerastes persicus, vipera albicornuta and the elapidae family, especially naja naja oxiana. as a result, snakebite is a considerable health hazard in iran, especially in the rural area of south and south–west of iran. given the high prevalence of snakebite in shush, gotvand, and dezful counties, the present study aimed at investigating the prevalence of snakebite and its epidemiologic factors in these cities in 2013. the results of this study can be used in the prevention and control programs for snakebite, and hence can reduce its incidence in the region.


The data were recorded in a questionnaire using interviews with the those referring the disease control and prevention units at the health centers. data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and the chi-square test in spss. the significance level was set at p < 0.05.


Data were collected from 89 snakebite cases. the age distribution of cases showed that the largest rate of snakebites occurred among the 25-34 (44.9%) year old group. no case was reported in the age group less than 5 years. a total of 92.1% of snakebites were male. the high frequency of snakebites among men can be due to their working outdoor, which increases the risk of snakebites. the most frequent snakebites (21.3%) were happened at june. the highest incidence of snakebite (51.7%) cases was taken place in villages. legs were more at risk of sting by snakes (59.6%). most of snakebite (42.7%) cases occurred in spring. none of the people had a history of snakebite, and hence had no history of receiving the antivenin. most snakebites occurred in the morning and afternoon (from 6 to 12), possibly because rural activities occur at this time of day.


The results of this study indicated that most of the cases happened in june, spring, rural areas and legs. in order to reduce snakebites and their consequences, people should be more informed about snakebite. anti-snake-venom sera should be constantly available in health centers that are geographically more exposed to snakebites. health center staff should update their knowledge of various types of venomous and non-venomous snakes , as well as snakebites. useful information about snakebites can be provided for people using educational tools such as posters, brochures and speeches. informing people about the importance of immediate treatment of snakebite is effective in reducing the delay in visiting treatment centers.


Epidemiology, snakebite, iran.