Diphtheria is a serious bacterial infection caused by Corynebacterium diphtheriae that usually affects the mucous membranes of the nose and throat. It typically causes a sore throat, fever, swollen lymph nodes and weakness. A pathognomonic sign is a sheet of thick, gray material covering the back of the throat, which can block the airway, causing difficulty in breathing and a barking cough like croup.
|Bull's neck (from swollen glands)|
In spite of treatment, diphtheria can lead to complications like: arrhythmia from myocarditis; paralysis from nerve injury, kidney problems, bleeding problems and death.