Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)

Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)

What is toxic shock syndrome?

Toxic shock syndrome (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 by menstruating women. Due to manufacturing changes in tampons, the incidence of tampon-induced TSS has declined.

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 heart disease.

How is toxic shock syndrome transmitted?

What are the symptoms of toxic shock syndrome?

Symptoms of TSS involve many systems and may resemble other infections. While each person may experience symptoms differently, the following are the most common symptoms of Staphylococcal TSS, according to the CDC:

The following are the most common symptoms of Streptococcal TSS, according to the CDC:

What are the possible causes of TSS?

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 tests may include:

What are the treatments for toxic shock syndrome?

Specific treatment will be determined by your health care provider based on:

Treatment for TSS may include:

How is toxic shock syndrome prevented?

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