What You Need to Know About Toxic Shock Syndrome

Courtesy of Diane Roberts

Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is rare, but it does sicken and can kill.  The bacterial infection is extremely painful and can shut down a body in days.  One mom wants you to know the symptoms and be aware of the potential dangers.





In February, 2014, 13-year-old Jemma-Louise Roberts was vomiting and suffering from diarrhea.  Her parents took her to the hospital.  The hospital told her she had Norovirus, an infection that causes vomiting.  She continued to get worse and was taken back to the hospital.  She was diagnosed with TSS.  A week later she died of TSS and sepsis.

TSS is a bacterial infection caused by Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria. At least half of the reported cases of TSS are associated with women who use tampons. It can be caused by skin wounds and injuries.  It is important to see a doctor if you experience the signs or symptoms of TSS and you have recently used tampons or had a wound or infection.

The bottom line is to be aware of the symptoms and see a doctor as soon as possible.  It is better to be safe, than lose a loved one to this horrific illness.

Possible signs and symptoms of toxic shock syndrome include:

  • A sudden high fever
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • A rash resembling a sunburn, particularly on your palms and soles
  • Confusion
  • Muscle aches
  • Redness of your eyes, mouth and throat
  • Seizures
  • Headaches


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