Salmonella has been a pathogen of public concern over recent years, especially in the Caribbean area. The issue has received less attention, mainly because of the inadequate resources in this region. Nonetheless, Salmonella enteritidis has become one of the major causes of human Salmonellosis. It can also lead to foodborne diarrheal complications if not diagnosed and treated earlier. Most people with salmonella infections tend to experience stomach cramps, fever, and even diarrhea.
The symptoms may appear from exactly six hours to even 144 hours after infection. However, some individuals may not develop these symptoms up to several weeks after the infection, depending on their body immunity or how their bodies react to an infection. To extensively explore the salmonella infections in the Caribbean, detailed analysis and study were conducted to identify the most affected population and its impact on health, the social and behavioral determinants that are often associated with Salmonella, and how they related to the salmonella infections.
In the year 1989, there was an outbreak or emergence of Salmonella enteritidis in the Caribbean, which was the leading cause of sporadic diseases and an outbreak of diarrhea that involved both the region’s local and tourist population (Edwards et al., 2021). It is also believed that SE’s isolation steadily increased, and by 1996 it was one of the most frequent causes of Salmonellosis in the Caribbean (Griffin & Soto, 2017). According to a recent real-life case study conducted in Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies, the SE infections from 1993 to 1996 had increased from close to 0.08 to 8.5 per 100,000 individuals (Marancik, 2021). The primary audiences in this case study were the public health officers who tended to have a basic understanding or knowledge regarding epidemiologic ideas. In addition, the health specialists, nurses in the public health institutions, the laboratorians, and the mph students were also considered as the target audiences. The case study was sponsored and financed by disease control centers, the initiative of food safety, and the public health practice program’s office and it took place from 1998 to 1999 in Trinidad and Tobago.
A case-control study conducted from 1998 to mid-1999 indicated that children under the age of 10 had the highest infection rate. In addition, children aged 0 to 4 were perceived to be the most susceptible (Persad & LeJeune, 2018). The study also clearly indicates that close to 39% of salmonella infections occurred during the festive season when most people eat various foods in celebration (Edwards et al., 2021). Out of the 100 prospective cases, 71.5% of the population had eaten foods that contained raw eggs (Ives et al., 2017). On the other hand, 31% of the rest were perceived to have taken undercooked eggs three days just before they fell ill. This is a clear implication that there might be a connection between consuming these types of foods and obtaining salmonella infection.
Nonetheless, the major behavioral and social determinants associated with the Salmonella outbreak are human activities, poor laboratory reports, and the production processes. The behaviors and actions of the Caribbean residents tend to have significant consequences on the safety of food. Salmonella is a bacterium living in the human body and animals such as reptiles, bird’s intestinal tracts, and other mammals (Persad & LeJeune, 2018). This indicates that they can be transmitted to people through foods contaminated with feces since they can live in both human and animal bodies. Therefore, it is clear that the social and behavioral determinants are vital elements in curbing the salmonella infection.
In the Salmonella real-life case study, there is also a demonstration of potential disparities. Some of the differences include; the mailing of the generated reports from the health care or service provider, the variety of individuals linked with the report procession, and the batching process. The various people, health department, CAREC, and the ministry of health who are normally associated with the organizing, processing, and batching of the reports at different stages are responsible for the causes of delaying the reports (Ives et al., 2017). In most cases, it is also clear that the batching process may take time hence delaying the process. However, poor communicable diseases surveillance program is another disparity in the Caribbean. As a result, the laboratory had no information regarding infectious diseases.
The social and behavioral elements or determinants in the salmonella case study also directly relate to the aforementioned disparities. The disparities may cause people’s vulnerability to being behavioral and social determinants, not excluding food and water contamination. An illustration of this is that we all know that salmonella infections result from water and food contamination; hence there is a higher possibility of the outbreak intensifying with a common serotype for the bacteria. In connection to this case, good communication, an element lacking in Trinidad and Tobago, is vital as it provides room for an investigation regarding the disease to be carried out (Ives et al., 2017). An inquiry would have played a key role in setting standards and controlling and preventive measures during the Salmonella outbreak in the Caribbean.
The population and the public health issues share several things. When it comes to studying a research population, the research can identify noticeable public health issues which in this case are the Salmonella infections. On the other hand, studying public health enables the researcher to identify and recognize aspects such as how to control, prevent and treat the salmonella infections concerning the population (Persad & LeJeune, 2018). The Caribbean population study portrays how SE infections in Trinidad and Tobago rise during the festive season.
The rise of infections calls for health practitioners and the relevant stakeholders to implement strategies that will curb, control, and prevent the spread of salmonella infections. Besides, the public health study program offers the researcher the privilege of understanding the risk factors or elements linked with the Caribbean population. It also provides them with preventive measures to help control and prevent the Salmonellosis from egg-laying and consumption and, most importantly, eliminate the infected flock.
Edwards, J. J., Amadi, V. A., Soto, E., Jay-Russel, M. T., Aminabadi, P., Kenelty, K., Charles K, Arya G, Mistry K, Nicholas R, Butler B.P., & Marancik, D. (2021). The prevalence and phenotypic characterization of Salmonella enterica isolated from three wild marine turtle species in Grenada, West Indies. Veterinary World, 14(1), 222. Web.
Ives, A. K., Antaki, E., Stewart, K., Francis, S., Jay‐Russell, M. T., Sithole, F., Kearney, M.T., Griffin, M. J., & Soto, E. (2017). Detection of salmonella enterica Serovar Montevideo and Newport in free‐ranging sea turtles and beach sand in the Caribbean and persistence in sand and seawater microcosms. Zoonoses and Public Health, 64(6), 450-459. Web.
Persad, A. K., & LeJeune, J. (2018). A review of current research and knowledge gaps in the epidemiology of shiga toxin-producing escherichia coli and salmonella spp. in Trinidad and Tobago. Veterinary Sciences, 5(2), 42. Web.