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.
Plague is transmitted to humans by fleas or by direct exposure to infected tissues or respiratory droplets; the disease is characterized by fever, chills, headache, malaise, prostration, and leukocytosis that manifests in one or more of the following principal clinical forms:
A clinically compatible case without presumptive or confirmatory laboratory results
A clinically compatible case with presumptive laboratory results
A clinically compatible case with confirmatory laboratory results
The 1996 case definition appearing on this page was re-published in the 2009 CSTE position statement 09-ID-52. Thus, the 1996 and 2010 versions of the case definition are identical.