Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome-Causes and Symptoms
Journal of infectious diseases and diagnosis is an open access rapid peer reviewed journal in the field of Bacterial, Viral and Fungal Diseases. It is a bimonthly journal.
Toxic shock syndrome is a rare, life-threatening complication of certain types of bacterial infections. Often toxic shock syndrome results from toxins produced by Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria, but the condition may also be caused by toxins produced by group A streptococcus (strep) bacteria.
Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS) is a rare, but serious bacterial infection. STSS can develop very quickly into low blood pressure, multiple organ failure, and even death. Good wound care, hand hygiene, and cough etiquette are important for preventing this serious and often deadly disease.
It is very rare for someone with STSS to spread the infection to other people. However, any group A strep infection can turn into STSS and it is very easy to spread group A strep. Toxic shock syndrome can affect anyone, including men, children and postmenopausal women. Risk factors for toxic shock syndrome include skin wounds, surgery, and the use of tampons and other devices, such as menstrual cups, contraceptive sponges or diaphragms.
Most commonly, Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria cause toxic shock syndrome. The syndrome can also be caused by group A streptococcus (strep) bacteria. Toxic shock syndrome can affect anyone. About half the cases of toxic shock syndrome associated with staphylococci bacteria occur in women of menstruating age; the rest occur in older women, men and children. Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome occurs in people of all ages.
Bacteria called group A Streptococcus or group A strep can cause STSS when they spread into deep tissues and the bloodstream. Experts do not know how the bacteria get into the body for nearly half of people with STSS. Sometimes the bacteria get into the body through openings in the skin, like an injury or surgical wound. The bacteria can also get into the body through mucus membranes, like the skin inside the nose and throat.
Possible signs and symptoms of toxic shock syndrome include:
- A sudden high fever
- Low blood pressure
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- A rash resembling a sunburn, particularly on your palms and soles
- Muscle aches
- Redness of your eyes, mouth and throat
Toxic shock syndrome has been associated with:
- Having cuts or burns on your skin
- Having had recent surgery
- Using contraceptive sponges, diaphragms, superabsorbent tampons or menstrual cups
- Having a viral infection, such as the flu or chickenpox
Doctors treat STSS with antibiotics. People with STSS need care in a hospital. They often need fluids given through a vein and other treatments to help treat shock and organ failure. Many people with STSS also need surgery to remove infected tissue.
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