When was the last time you thought about diphtheria?
Chances are, if you are reading this in America, you have given so little thought to this once common and often fatal disease that the question is absurd. I might as well have asked you about the last time you bought your favorite brand of washboard. The times I mention it to the parents of my patients when I explain the diseases I immunize them against are probably the only times they hear about it.
Almost no one needs to think about diphtheria in the United States because almost no one ever understands it here. People have the luxury of not knowing anything about it because for decades it has been kept at bay by the safe and effective vaccine we have to protect us from it.
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