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Diphtheria (Corynebacterium diphtheriae)
1990 Case Definition

Clinical Description

An upper respiratory tract illness characterized by sore throat, low-grade fever, and an adherent membrane of the tonsil(s), pharynx, and/or nose without other apparent cause (as reported by a health professional)

Laboratory Criteria for Diagnosis

Isolation of Corynebacterium diphtheriae from a clinical specimen

Case Classification


Meets the clinical case definition, is not laboratory confirmed, and is not epidemiologically linked to a laboratory-confirmed case


Meets the clinical case definition and is either laboratory confirmed or epidemiologically linked to a laboratory-confirmed case


Cutaneous diphtheria should not be reported.