Date of Award

January 2012

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. James Hadler

Second Advisor

Dr. Maria Diuk-Wasser


Background: Behavior and environment play a significant role in the acquisition of vibriosis. Vibrio data collected over the past twelve years suggests that incidence of vibriosis has increased in Connecticut. Vibriosis is a physician and laboratory reportable illness in Connecticut. Surveillance data was collected by Connecticut FoodNet and Connecticut Department of Public Health staff. These data were analyzed to evaluate the epidemiology and trends in incidence over time.

Methods: Incidence rates were stratified by demographic, geographic, bacteriologic and clinical groups and trends in the incidence and percentage of cases in these groups were analyzed over time. Because risk factors for developing vibriosis could be dependent on specific behaviors, trends in the percentage of cases with selected exposures were also analyzed over the twelve year time period.

Results : The incidence of vibriosis increased over the past twelve years in Connecticut, from an incidence of 1.83 per million population in 1999 to 8.95 in 2010. Incidence rates were highest among men, during the summer and fall months, in those over the age of 50 years, and in people who reside in coastal counties. While increases in incidence rate/number of cases were seen for most demographic, geographic, bacteriologic, and clinical and exposure groups, only the percentages of all case-patients who had wound infections and had direct skin and wound exposure to water increased over time.

Conclusions: Possible explanations for the overall increase include: warmer water temperatures with higher Vibrio levels and/or more people spending more time in contact with potentially contaminated water, especially the elderly. The faster relative increase in wound infections and relative increase exposures involving skin, merit particular study to determine factors for their faster increase and monitoring to see if they continue to cause an increasing proportion of all cases.


This is an Open Access Thesis.