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Tetanus (vaccine-preventable)

Disease Information

Tetanus, commonly called lockjaw, is a bacterial disease that affects the nervous system. Due to widespread immunizations, tetanus is now a rare disease. Nearly all cases of tetanus are among people who have never received a tetanus vaccine, or adults who don’t stay up to date on their 10-year booster shots. Tetanus is contracted through a wound which becomes contaminated with the organism. It is not transmitted from person to person. Tetanus vaccination is recommended for all babies, children, teens, and adults.

Disease Reporting

What is required?

Health Care Providers and Clinical Laboratories

Health care providers and clinical laboratories are required by law to report cases and suspect cases of tetanus to local health departments within one working day of identification. Call 971-673-1111 to reach the state health department doctor on call.

For Local Health Departments

For reportable diseases lacking Oregon-specific investigative guidelines or case report forms, please contact the state epidemiologist on call for assistance at 971-673-1111.

See Also

CDC Factsheet 

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