A significant outbreak of cutaneous diphtheria (diphtheria infection in the skin) occurred in Seattle, Washington.
Cutaneous diphtheria is endemic in tropical regions. However, where immunization rates were low and in populations of indigent adults with poor community and personal hygiene, outbreaks could occur. Cutaneous diphtheria infections may co-exist with other types of infections. Antibiotics generally cure the infection. The CDC discontinued reporting cutaneous diphtheria cases around 1979.