In the 1920’s, one of the most feared and prevalent infectious diseases was an upper respiratory system infection which, because of its potent toxin, has far-reaching effects throughout the body. Five to ten percent of all cases result in death, and another 10-20% of those infected will suffer some sort of paralysis. Regular immunization of children has dramatically decreased the incidence of this disease today, but there are still 100 cases reported per year.
Symptoms begin like those of the common cold: sore throat, fever, lethargy, swelling around the neck, and headache. A fibrous lesion appears in the mucus membrane of the throat. This membrane appears gray in color and is made up of fibrin, necrotic tissue, and the multiplying bacteria. Though this membrane has been known to suffocate victims, most die from the widespread effects of the toxin.the question is:
Which of the following is the best diagnosis based on the symptoms?