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Toxic Shock Syndrome Causes & Risks


Staphylococcus aureus produces the toxin that causes TSS. The immune system in many adults have developed antibodies to fight these common bacteria. In people who do not have the antibodies, the toxins can damage multiple body systems.

Risk Factors

A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition. Risk factors include:

  • Sex: female
  • Youth
  • Not having antibodies to toxic shock syndrome toxins
  • Tampon use
  • Birth control devices placed in the vagina:
    • Sponge
    • Diaphragm
    • Cervical cap
  • Skin lesions, such as burns
  • Nasal surgery, with packing
  • Surgical wounds
  • Recent childbirth

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2022 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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