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Volume 28, Number 1—January 2022

Coronavirus Disease Case Definitions, Diagnostic Testing Criteria, and Surveillance in 25 Countries with Highest Reported Case Counts

Amitabh B. Suthar1Comments to Author , Sara Schubert1, Julie Garon, Alexia Couture, Amy M. Brown, and Sana Charania
Author affiliation: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Main Article

Table 1

Selected suspected case definition criteria across 25 countries with the highest COVID-19 case counts, current as of January 1, 2021*

Diagnostic testing/laboratory evidence†
Clinical symptoms
Epidemiologic criteria, any
Labored breathing
Muscle pain
Loss of taste or smell
WHO definition (reference) X X X X X X X X
Argentina X X X X X X X X X
Bangladesh‡ X X X X X X X X
Brazil X X X X X X X
Chile X X X X X X X X X
Colombia X X X X X X X X X
France§¶ X X X X X X X
Germany§¶ X X X X X X X
India# X X X X X
Indonesia X X X X
Iran X X X
Iraq‡ X X X X X X X X
Israel** X
Italy§¶ X X X X X X X
Mexico X X X X X X
Pakistan# X X X X X
Peru X X X X X
Philippines‡ X X X X X X X X
Russia X X X X X X
Saudi Arabia X X X X X X X X
South Africa X X X X X X X X
Spain X X X X X X X X
Turkey X X X X X X X X X
Ukraine X X X X X
United Kingdom¶ X X X
United States X
No. (%) countries including criterion†† 2 (8) 21 (84) 23 (92) 16 (64) 21 (84) 15 (60) 14 (56) 14 (56) 15 (60) 16 (64)

*Complete data are available in Appendix Table 3. X indicates the criterion was sufficient for, or a potential component of, the suspected case definition requirement(s). COVID-19, coronavirus disease; SARI, severe acute respiratory infection; WHO, World Health Organization. †See suspected case definition for applicable country (Appendix Table 2). ‡World Health Organization definition (updated August 2020). §European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control definition. ¶These countries consider these definitions as possible not suspected cases; because of the comparability between possible and suspected, we treated these definitions as a suspected definition. #World Health Organization definition (updated March 2020). **Israel does not have an official suspect case definitions persons are considered suspected on the basis of contact with confirmed cases determined by digital surveillance of cellphones. ††Denominator is 24 countries with suspected case definition.

Main Article

1These authors contributed equally to this article.

Page created: October 19, 2021
Page updated: December 20, 2021
Page reviewed: December 20, 2021
The conclusions, findings, and opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.