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Toxic Shock Syndrome (cont.)

Toxic Shock Syndrome Symptoms and Signs

Many people with toxic shock syndrome experience a two- to three-day period of mild symptoms before they develop the disease. These mild symptoms may include low-grade fever, muscle aches, chills, and malaise (a feeling of general discomfort, uneasiness, or ill health).

Toxic shock syndrome can affect most organ systems in the body, including the skin, lungs, liver, kidneys, blood, and pancreas. All people with toxic shock syndrome have a fever and a rash, as well as symptoms in at least three other organ systems. These symptoms or findings may include the following:

  • Fever greater than 102 F (38.9 C)
  • Rash (The rash of toxic shock syndrome is a red sunburn-like rash that covers most of the body. It is flat, not raised, and turns white if pressed. The rash may be difficult to see in dark-skinned people. Redness of the eyes, the lips, and the tongue [strawberry tongue] may also occur. The rash also can occur on the palms and soles of the feet.)
  • Headache (very common)
  • Muscle aches
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea (profuse and watery)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Lightheadedness or fainting (especially on standing up)
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Low blood pressure (systolic less than 90 mm Hg)
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/15/2016
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Toxic Shock Syndrome »

Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a toxin-mediated multisystem disease precipitated by infection with either Staphylococcus aureus or group A Streptococcus (GAS), also called Streptococcus pyogenes.

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