The epidemiology of snakebite in the Rio Grande do Norte State, Northeastern Brazil


Rev. Inst. Med. trop. S. Paulo




ABSTRACT This report is a retrospective study of the epidemiology of snakebite cases recorded from 2007 to 2014 in the Rio Grande do Norte State, northeastern Brazil. Data was collected from the Injury Notification Information System database of the Health Department of Rio Grande do Norte. A total of 3,019 cases were studied. Cases were distributed over all months of the period studied and occurred mainly in rural areas. Snakes of the genus Bothrops, Crotalus, Micrurus, Lachesis and non-venomous snakes were responsible for 1,507, 185, 52, 6 and 673 cases, respectively. Snakebites predominated in males with age between 10 and 29 years old. Most victims were bitten on the feet and received medical assistance within 1-3 h after being bitten. Cases were mostly classified as mild and progressed to cure. Envenomation by snakebite in Rio Grande do Norte is an environmental public health problem that needs to be monitored and controlled throughout the year. Additionally, the training of health professionals is urgent in order to improve the registration of epidemiological information and medical care to victims.

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