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Step 4: Define and Identify Cases

By the end of this module, you should be able to:

  • Develop a case definition.
  • Describe what a case definition is and its importance in an outbreak investigation.

After attempting to identify the outbreak etiology, it is time to define and identify the cases within the outbreak. In this video, we’ll define what an outbreak case definition is and how it differs from a clinical case definition, explore a few examples of case definitions, and discuss the outbreak reporting iceberg and how it impacts surveillance.

Good news for our case study! You have received lab results for both Rita and the 7-year-old case.


  • Epidemiologic Investigations Related to Foodborne Outbreaks – Tennessee CoE (Go to Online Course)