Tetanus, commonly called lockjaw, is a bacterial disease that affects the nervous system. Due to widespread immunizations, tetanus is now a rare disease. Tetanus occurs more often in older people and in agricultural workers where contact with animal manure is more likely and immunization is inadequate. Tetanus is contracted through a wound which becomes contaminated with the organism. It is not transmitted from person to person. Childhood immunization
Health care providers and clinical laboratories are required 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.
See our disease reporting page
for information on how to report and for telephone numbers of local health departments. For county health departments
Tetanus: Case report form (pdf)
For reportable diseases lacking Oregon-specific investigative guidelines or case report forms, please contact the epidemiologist on call for assistance.