Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a rare but life-threatening acute bacterial infection caused by Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria. The symptoms begin with a sudden high fever followed by flu-like symptoms including headache, muscle aches, sore throat and cough, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea and a widespread, flat, red skin rash that rapidly develop in the course of a few hours. The incidence of TSS is extremely rare in Italy. Studies indicate about 25 cases in 50 million people. It can affect men, women and children alike. Menstrual TSS is more likely in women using highly absorbent tampons.
TSS is considered a medical emergency and the treatment should be started immediately. It is usually treated with antibiotics, and drugs to lower temperature, and large amounts of fluids to keep your blood pressure up. Intravenous antibiotic combinations of pencillins and clindamycin are given to help prevent recurrence. Women diagnosed with TSS should avoid tampon use in the future. Menstruating females should minimize use of items like tampons, diaphragms, and sponges. Tampons should be changed frequently, and superabsorbent tampons should be avoided.