toxic shock syndrome

toxic shock syndrome

Bacterial disease caused by a toxin produced by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. It was first recognized in 1978 in women using superabsorbent tampons. High fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and rash may progress to abdominal tenderness, drop in blood pressure, shock, respiratory distress, and kidney failure. The syndrome also has other causes, including postsurgical infection. Antibiotics are not effective. With intensive supportive therapy, most patients recover in 7–10 days, but 10–15% die. Many patients have a milder recurrence within eight months.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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