Toxic Shock Syndrome

Pay close attention, because the signs don't start where you'd think they would. You might just think you're coming down with a stomach bug - Gina M Florio

Toxic Shock Syndrome
Toxic Shock Syndrome

image by: TSS Aware

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Everything you know about toxic shock syndrome is probably wrong

For a while there in the ‘90s it felt like every teen-girl magazine was required to publish at least one (terrifying) it-happened-to-me toxic shock syndrome story per year. “I left a tampon in for eight hours and almost died.” “My friend looked at a tampon once and died from TSS.” Maybe these tales were leftovers from the TSS epidemic in the late 1970s, or maybe editors tracked down new cases from actual teens. I can only assume that the intent was to make young girls aware of the dangers of toxic shock syndrome. Mission accomplished.

Now, TSS is back in the news because a model—who lost her leg to the disease in 2012—is on an awareness campaign to teach young girls about the dangers…

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  Everything you know about toxic shock syndrome is probably wrong

First off, it’s not just a tampon thing.

Don’t Shock Me

Don’t Shock Me is a non-profit (501C3) foundation dedicated to heightening awareness of toxic shock syndrome (TSS). It was created in honor of 19-year-old Maddy Massabni, who lost her life to TSS on March 30, 2017.

TSS Aware

Toxic Shock Syndrome is very rare but it happens. Natasha Scott-Falber died 14th Feb 2013 after her first use of tampons. TSS Aware aims to spread awareness.


Also known in its acronym form as TSS, is an illness that could be potentially harmful. Simply put, there is an evil bacteria called Staphylococcus Aureus that just happens to live off of our unsuspecting body parts like the vagina, groin, armpit and nose skin.It’s critical that every consumer is aware of what can happen when you don’t use feminine care products responsibly.


The earliest cases of toxic shock syndrome involved women who used tampons during their menstrual periods. However, today less than one half of cases are linked to tampon use. Toxic shock syndrome can also occur with skin infections, burns, and after surgery. The condition can also affect children, postmenopausal women, and men.


Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a rare but life-threatening condition caused by bacteria getting into the body and releasing harmful toxins. It's often associated with tampon use in young women, but it can affect anyone of any age – including men and children.


Toxic Shock Syndrome is a rare multisystem disease with many widespread symptoms. It is caused by a toxin that is produced and secreted by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. The symptoms of Toxic Shock Syndrome may include a sudden high fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abnormally low blood pressure (hypotension), and a characteristic skin rash that resemble a bad sunburn.

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