Diphtheria is an acute, toxin-mediated disease caused by Corynebacterium diphtheriae. The name of the disease is derived from the Greek diphthera, meaning leather hide. The incubation period of diphtheria is 2-5 days (range, 1-10 days). The disease can involve almost any mucous membrane and the onset is often indistinguishable from that of the common cold.
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