The disease produced from the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae, causing fever and swelling of the membranes in the throat, inhibiting breathing and swallowing. The toxins can also cause myocarditis. Infection is contracted through the bite of a carrier, droplet inhalation, or the ingestion of contaminated food, milk, water, etc.
An acute infectious disease caused by toxigenic strains of the bacillus Corynebacterium diphtheriae, acquired by contact with an infected person or a carrier of the disease. It was usually confined to the upper respiratory tract (throat) and characterized by the formation of a tough membrane (false membrane) attached firmly to the underlying tissue that would bleed if forcibly removed. In the nineteenth century the disease was occasionally confused with scarlet fever and croup.