Date of Award

January 2021

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

James Hadler


Introduction: Salmonellosis is the second leading bacterial foodborne illness in the United States, and is mainly characterized by symptoms of gastroenteritis and their consequences in afflicted individuals. Salmonella accounts for 1.35 million infections, 26,500 hospitalizations and 420 deaths in the United States every year. Live poultry act as a reservoir of Salmonella and causes an annual national outbreak. There has yet to be a published study on the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns on the incidence of Salmonella and on the percentage of cases tied to the national poultry outbreak. Methods: Active public health surveillance of Salmonella in Connecticut is conducted by laboratory surveillance followed by case interview. Surveillance data from Connecticut and the national backyard poultry outbreak in 2014-2019 were used to provide a robust sample for typical Salmonella incidence and compared to 2020 data. Results: There was a significant decrease (p<0.001) in the percentage of all confirmed cases from March to May from 23.18% of cases to 12.42%. However, there was a significant increase of cases linked to the national backyard live poultry outbreak in August from 3.85% to 28.00% (p=0.021). A statistically significant difference was not observed in demographic or serotype prevalence for either Connecticut cases or those tied to the national backyard poultry-associated outbreak. Conclusions: The decrease in confirmed cases coincided with the COVID-19 lockdown, and could be due to a transient decrease in healthcare seeking behavior and a decrease in the number of people eating in restaurants. COVID-19 seems to have impacted the seasonal patterns of both overall incidence, as well as those linked to the live poultry outbreak. These findings merit further study and continued attention.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access