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Tetanus (Clostridium tetani)
1996 Case Definition

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.

Clinical Description

Acute onset of hypertonia and/or painful muscular contractions (usually of the muscles of the jaw and neck) and generalized muscle spasms without other apparent medical cause

Case Classification


A clinically compatible case, as reported by a health-care professional


The 1990 case definition appearing on this page was re-published in the 1996 CSTE position statement 1996-18. Thus, the 1996 and 1990 versions of the case definition are identical.