Here is a quick test. How many different types of scorpion do you think are native to Morocco?
Well, the number certainly surpised me - Morocco counts more than 30 kinds of yellow and black scorpions. And, a word of warning, the black ones are deadly.
How deadly? Well according to the latest figures from CAPM (Centre Antipoison et de Pharmacologie du Maroc), 91 people died in 2006 due to scorpion stings, compared to 98 in 2005 and 93 in 2004.
Scorpion stings are alsothe primary cause of 50 to 60 % of intoxication cases being documented in Morocco, said Ghizlane El Oufir a doctor with CAPM . He was speaking at an awareness-raising day to control scorpion stings in Argan tree farms.
Children under 15 make up 95 % of deaths, she explained, noting that 4 out of 1,000 die of scorpion stings.
Scorpion stings are a grave and recurrent problem, especially in the province of Essaouira, where they represents 4.6% of all scorpion-related incidents reported in Morocco. Scorpions claimed the lives of 528 people between 2001 and 2006.
So, if you are in the Essaouira area we suggest don't go looking under rocks.
Tags: Moroccan Morocco Fes, Maghreb news