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Toxic Shock Syndrome

What is toxic shock syndrome?

Toxic shock syndrome, or TSS, describes a cluster of symptoms that involve many systems of the body. The following bacteria commonly cause TSS:

TSS from Staphylococcus infections was identified in the late 1970s and early 1980s when highly absorbent tampons were widely used in menstruating women. Due to manufacturing changes in tampons, the incidence of tampon-induced TSS has diminished by more than 40 percent. TSS from streptococcus infections is most commonly seen in children and the elderly. Other populations at risk include individuals with diabetes, HIV, chronic lung disease, or cardiac disease.

How is toxic shock syndrome transmitted?

What are the symptoms of toxic shock syndrome?

The following are the most common symptoms of TSS. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms of TSS involve many systems and may include:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria for staphylococcus TSS:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria for streptococcal TSS:

The symptoms of TSS may resemble other medical conditions. Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.

What causes streptococcal and staphylococcal TSS?

Possible causes of streptococcal and staphylococcal TSS may include the following:

How is toxic shock syndrome diagnosed?

Ruling out similar illnesses, such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, among others, is critical in diagnosing TSS. In addition, confirmation is made in children and adults who meet the CDC criteria for TSS. Other diagnostic studies may include:

Treatment for toxic shock syndrome:

Specific treatment for streptococcal and staphylococcal TSS will be determined by your child's physician based on:

Treatment for TSS may include:

Prevention of toxic shock syndrome:

The following may help prevent TSS:

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Online Resources of Infectious Diseases


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