Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is a rare but serious disease that is recognizable and treatable. Even though it is rare, it's best to know about it so you can take the right actions if you think you may have it. It's believed that TSS is caused by a toxin producing strain of the that's commonly found on the skin, in the nose, armpit, groin, or vagina. Like other types of bacteria, a person could "carry" these bacteria without problems. Most people have a built-in ability to fight TSS, but some don't. In a very small number of people, certain kinds of these bacteria can cause TSS. If left untreated, TSS can progress to a serious disease that can be fatal. Bacterium Staphylococcus Aureas Anyone can get TSS —men, women or children. It isn't contagious —you can't catch TSS from other people. Some cases of TSS are caused by infections following insect bites, burns or surgery. About half of the reported cases in the United States are associated with women using tampons. You can reduce your risk of getting TSS during your period by using the tampon with the lowest absorbency for your flow, and alternating tampon use with pads during a 24-hour time period. It's important to change your tampon regularly, every 4 –8 hours. Never wear a tampon for more than 8 hours and remember to remove the last tampon you put in at the end of your period. In this section is a guide to help you choose the right absorbency. But first, here is additional information on what is TSS. Some of the symptoms of TSS are like the flu, but they can become serious quickly. The signs of TSS are: rising body temperature (102 degrees Fahrenheit [38.8 degrees Celsius] or higher) vomiting diarrhea a sunburn-like rash muscle aches dizziness fainting, or near fainting when you stand up A person who has had TSS can develop it again. If a woman has had TSS before, she should talk to a doctor before using tampons again.
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