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Surveillance Plan Template: Case Definition & Classification

This is a view of the template showing the outline of the Case Definition & Classification section of an Outbreak Surveillance Plan. Instructions are in green and should be deleted from the final draft.


[Included in the Toolbox are drafted case definitions for a variety of diseases.  Check the Toolbox first to see if there is a case definition for the disease of interest.  If a case definition is drafted, you can either cut and paste individual sections in to keep the format of the headings the same, or you can delete everything below, and paste the entire case definition directly in.  The format/sequence/sections below are the same as the drafted case definitions, except the drafted case definitions are in a numbered outline.  If a case definition is not drafted for the disease of interest, the Toolbox will walk you through the development of one.]

General Disease / Pathogen Information

[Provide general comments about the disease of interest as an introductory statement.  Comments should be pertinent to species affected, disease characterization, and potential zoonosis.  Next, address the following:]

[Etiological agent ]
[Distribution/Frequency of agent or pathogen in the U.S.]
[Clinical signs]
[Incubation period]
[Differential diagnosis]
[Transmission/reservoir]
[Epidemiology]

Laboratory Criteria

[Include sample collection guidelines, tests performed, and other information specific to disease of interest (e.g. timeframe until plating, serum dilutions for complete reaction, etc.) ]

Case Definition

Suspect Case

Presumptive Positive Case

  • A suspect case that has epidemiological information indicative of exposure; AND
  • A positive screening test.

Confirmed Positive Case

  • Has laboratory confirmation using the accepted diagnostic test(s) for [insert disease]

[Include the following if needed]

Reporting Criteria
[If the disease of interest is an FAD, the following text is suggested]

  • [Insert disease] is a U.S. foreign animal disease and an OIE notifiable disease
  • Follow standard FAD procedures according to VS Guidance Document 12001.4
  • Suspect cases should be reported to the State Animal Health Official and Federal AD

Control & Surveillance Procedures

[Provide a brief overview of surveillance methods in place before outbreak and treatment/eradication methods]


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