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NOTE: A surveillance case definition is a set of uniform criteria used to define a disease for public health surveillance. Surveillance case definitions enable public health officials to classify and count cases consistently across reporting jurisdictions. Surveillance case definitions are not intended to be used by healthcare providers for making a clinical diagnosis or determining how to meet an individual patient’s health needs.

CSTE Position Statement(s)

  • 09-ID-63

Case Classification


  • In the absence of a more likely diagnosis, an acute illness with
    • muscle spasms or hypertonia, AND
    • diagnosis of tetanus by a health care provider;


  • Death, with tetanus listed on the death certificate as the cause of death or a significant condition contributing to death


There is no definition for "confirmed" tetanus.

Related Case Definition(s)