Although diphtheria is not as common as it once was, several thousand people each year still suffer from this deadly infection. Its decline in popularity is largely attributed to the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis shot, a vaccine more commonly referred to as DTaP, which doctors recommend for all children. Although diphtheria is treatable, it is a very serious infection that can result in hospitalization and even death if proper medical care is not received. For parents of children who did not or could not receive the DTaP shot, it is important to recognize some of the most common symptoms of diphtheria.
1. Sore Throat
One of the first signs of a diphtheria infection is a sore throat. It may be confused with strep throat or a virus, but a physician will be able to diagnose diphtheria based on other symptoms. This infection is more serious when a child contracts it, with the mortality rate nearly double, so it is important to take any sign of a sore throat very seriously. To soothe a sore throat, try drinking warm herbal tea with honey. The honey also has antibacterial properties, which can help with the infection, but seeing a doctor for proper treatment is your best course of action.