• If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ & read the forum rules. To view all forums, post or create a new thread, you must be an AAPC Member. If you are a member and have already registered for member area and forum access, you can log in by clicking here. If you've forgotten your username or password use our password reminder tool. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below..
  • Important Note: We will be performing a scheduled maintenance on 1st November 2020. The site will be offline from 7:30PM (MT) till midnight. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Wiki Coding viral illness

Community Wiki

This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on AAPC for 30 days and have made 5 posts. Learn More
Code: J02.9

Code Name: ICD-10 Code for Acute pharyngitis, unspecified

Block: Acute upper respiratory infections (J00-J06)

Excludes 1:chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with acute lower respiratory infection (J44.0)
influenza virus with other respiratory manifestations (J09.X2, J10.1, J11.1)

Details: Acute pharyngitis, unspecified
Gangrenous pharyngitis (acute)
Infective pharyngitis (acute) NOS
Pharyngitis (acute) NOS
Sore throat (acute) NOS
Suppurative pharyngitis (acute)
Ulcerative pharyngitis (acute)

Includes: acute sore throat

Excludes1: acute laryngopharyngitis (J06.0)
peritonsillar abscess (J36)
pharyngeal abscess (J39.1)
retropharyngeal abscess (J39.0)

Excludes2: chronic pharyngitis (J31.2)

Guidelines: Diseases of the respiratory system (J00-J99)
Use additional code, where applicable, to identify:exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (Z77.22)
exposure to tobacco smoke in the perinatal period (P96.81)
history of tobacco use (Z87.891)
occupational exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (Z57.31)
tobacco dependence (F17.-)
tobacco use (Z72.0)

Note: When a respiratory condition is described as occurring in more than one site and is not specifically indexed, it should be classified to the lower anatomic site (e.g. tracheobronchitis to bronchitis in J40).

Excludes 2: certain conditions originating in the perinatal period (P04-P96)
certain infectious and parasitic diseases (A00-B99)
complications of pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium (O00-O9A)
congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities (Q00-Q99)
endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases (E00-E88)
injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes (S00-T88)
neoplasms (C00-D49)
smoke inhalation (T59.81-)
symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified (R00-R94)

For more details on J02.9, ICD-10 Code for Acute pharyngitis, unspecified , visit: https://coder.aapc.com/icd-10-codes/


Trivandrum, KL
Best answers

Can anybody help me with this.

Assesment includes pharyngitis, papules on ear and viral illness.

My concern is whether we need to omit viral illness as code for viral illness(079.89) excludes pharyngitis(462) or can include viral illness as code for
papules(709.8) is not excluding viral illness.

Last edited:


Trivandrum, KL
Best answers
Thank you Lisa.

For viral infection and viral syndrome we use the code 079.99. But we assign 078.89 for viral illness since in the alphabetic index, illness directs us to disease and disease viral is 078.89.

Lisa Bledsoe

True Blue
Greeley, Colorado
Best answers
I would use 079.99 "unspecified viral infection" unless the type of virus is specified by the provider but there is no current ICD-9 for that specific virus - then I would use 079.89 "other specified viral infection".


Spokane, WA
Best answers
Viral infection

Does anyone know if pt has been diagnosed with viral infection, nasal congestion, pharyngitis, fever; Do you code only the viral infection code B34.9 or do you list the symptoms as well as the B34.9?

Thank you!