Toxic shock syndrome



A rare, life-threatening illness caused by infection with bacteria.


Toxic shock syndrome is caused by bacteria, often staph or group A strep, that get into the body from cuts, burns or surgery. Toxic shock syndrome also can happen from using items such as superabsorbent tampons or after some infections with a virus.


Toxic shock syndrome may cause a sudden high fever, low blood pressure or a sunburn-like rash, often on the palms and soles. Symptoms can get worse quickly and may lead to shock and kidney damage. This illness can be deadly.


Toxic shock syndrome is often treated in the hospital. Medicines that target bacteria, called antibiotics, treat the infection while other medicines help ease symptoms and treat complications. Surgery may be used to clear up the infection.