Salmonella in the Caribbean (CB1167)

These Epidemiologic Case Studies are based on historical events and include epidemiologic methods that were practiced at the time. Given the historical nature of this content, the methods that are referenced on this site may be outdated practices in some settings. As some of the practices are still used, they continue to offer educational value.

For years, Salmonella was a pathogen of public health concern in the Caribbean. Because of limited resources, however, the problem received inadequate attention. When outbreaks of diarrhea occurred among tourists at luxury hotels in the region, staff from the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (CAREC) collaborated with the ministries of health from the affected countries (agricultural and tourism agencies) to find the source.

  • How do case characteristics provide clues to the problem?
  • What studies should be undertaken?
  • What can be done to control the problem?

Work through this case study and help CAREC find the answers to these questions and more.

Target Audience

Public health practitioners with knowledge of basic epidemiologic and public health concepts, including epidemiologists, infectious disease investigators, public health nurses, environmental health specialists, sanitarians, laboratorians, and MPH students.

Learning Objectives

After completing this case study, the student should be able to do the following:

  • Describe the epidemiology of infection with Salmonella (e.g., incubation period, modes of transmission, and common vehicles).
  • List the steps that might be used to investigate and address a public health problem.
  • Describe the desired characteristics of a surveillance system for a disease, given the objectives of the surveillance system.
  • Analyze figures that display public health data.
  • Interpret the results of a case-control study.
  • Discuss the uses of subtyping information in foodborne disease investigations.
  • Assist in the evaluation of a surveillance system.
  • Discuss how surveillance data can be used to identify and characterize public health problems and to monitor control measures.


Knowledge of basic public health and epidemiologic concepts (including descriptive epidemiology, study design, and data analysis).






3 to 4 hours

Developed By

This product stems from a collaboration within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with individuals from the:

  • National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne and Enteric Diseases; Division of Foodborne, Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases and Food Safety Office
  • Office of Workforce and Career Development; Training Services Division

The development team included Jeanette K. Stehr-Green, MD, and Nancy Gathany, MEd.

Original Investigation Team

The following persons investigated the original salmonellosis problem in the Caribbean: Lisa Indar-Harrinauth, Nicholas Daniels, Parimi Prabbakar, Clive Brown, Gail Baccus-Taylor, Edward Commissiong, Hugo Reid, and James Hospedales.