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
- Muscle aches
- Redness of your eyes, mouth and throat
When to see a doctor
Call your doctor immediately if you have signs or symptoms of toxic shock syndrome. This is especially important if you've recently used tampons or if you have a skin or wound infection.
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.
Toxic shock syndrome has been associated with:
- Having cuts or burns on your skin
- Having had recent surgery
- Using contraceptive sponges, diaphragms or superabsorbent tampons
- Having a viral infection, such as the flu or chickenpox
Toxic shock syndrome can progress rapidly. Complications may include:
- Renal failure
May 04, 2017
- Chu VH. Staphylococcal toxic shock syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 7, 2016.
- Stevens DL. Epidemiology, clinical manifestations and diagnosis of streptococcal toxic shock syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 7, 2016.
- Stevens DL. Treatment of streptococcal toxic shock syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 7, 2016.
- Tintinalli JE, et al. Toxic shock syndromes. In: Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw Hill Companies; 2016. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Dec. 7, 2016.
- Patient alert: Medical devices. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/medicaldevices/safety/alertsandnotices/patientalerts/ucm070003.htm. Accessed Dec. 7, 2016.