Toxic shock syndrome

Also known as: TSS
Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a rare illness that happens suddenly after an infection. It quickly can harm several different organs, including the lungs, kidneys, and liver, and it can be deadly. Since toxic shock syndrome gets worse quickly, it requires medical treatment right away.

What causes toxic shock syndrome?

An infection caused by strep or staph bacteria can lead to toxic shock syndrome. These bacteria are common and usually don't cause problems. But they make toxins that can cause toxic shock syndrome. In rare cases, the toxins enter the bloodstream and cause a severe immune reaction. This reaction causes the symptoms of TSS.

Strep toxic shock syndrome most often occurs after childbirth, the flu (influenza), chickenpox, surgery, minor skin cuts or wounds, or injuries that cause bruising but may not break the skin.
 
Staph toxic shock syndrome most often occurs after a tampon is kept in too long (menstrual TSS) or after surgery (nonmenstrual TSS).