throat distemper

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throat distemper (countable and uncountable, plural throat distempers)

  1. (pathology, obsolete) Any of several potentially fatal human diseases that have their most visible symptoms affecting the throat.

Usage notes[edit]

The term throat distemper was used in the 17th-19th century before advances in medicine allowed for specific infectious agents to be identified. Based on the symptoms recorded, most throat distemper was diphtheria, with scarlet fever and other forms of strep throat also called by this name.