National case definition: Anthrax

Date of last revision/review: May 2008

National notification

Confirmed, probable and suspect cases of disease should be notified.

Type of surveillance

Routine case-by-case notification to the federal level

Case classification

Confirmed case

Clinical illness with laboratory confirmation of infection:

Probable case

Suspected case with detection of B. anthracis DNA

Suspect case

Clinical illness in a person who is epidemiologically linked to a confirmed or suspected animal case or contaminated animal product

Clinical evidence

Cutaneous:  Clinical illness is characterized by the appearance of small, painless but often pruritic papules. As the papule enlarges, it becomes vesicular and, within two days, ulcerates to form a distinctive black eschar, with surrounding edema.

Inhalation:  Clinical illness is characterized by an upper-respiratory flu-like syndrome that, after a few days, takes a fulminant course, manifested by dyspnea, cough, chills and a high-grade bacteremia.

Gastrointestinal:  Clinical illness is characterized by abdominal pain, fever and signs of septicaemia.

ICD code(s)

ICD-10 code(s)

ICD 9 code(s) 


Wilson RW, Sande MA. Current Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases. McGraw-Hill Professional, 2001.

Page details

Date modified: