Toxic Shock Syndrome
Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a condition attributed to Staphylococcus aureus bacteria that are found on the human body. While they are mostly harmless, in rare cases they produce a toxin leading to toxic shock syndrome. TSS has usually been linked to the use of tampons, though they can also be caused by bacterial infections of wounds or surgical incisions. Toxic shock syndrome has also been linked to other staph infections such as pneumonia, septicemia and osteomyelitis. TSS has also been noticed in women using a diaphragm or a contraceptive sponge.
Symptoms of toxic shock syndrome include high fever, headache, diarrhea and aching muscles. Other symptoms of TSS include vomiting, rapid drop in blood pressure and unusual redness under the eyelids. A person suffering from toxic shock syndrome is likely to feel dizzy and confused and have difficulty in breathing. Women may notice unusual vaginal discharge that is smelly.
All wounds and cuts must be treated with clean bandages. Women can reduce the risk of TSS by alternating between tampons and sanitary napkins. Ensure that you wash your hands before you touch them. Change tampons regularly and always remove the tampon at the end of the period. Treatment for TSS includes antibiotic medications and drugs to maintain normal blood pressure. If there is an infected site, the area must be drained clean and any foreign bodies must be removed from the body. It is imperative to consult a doctor at once if the patient becomes pale and has a rapid pulse. Toxic shock syndrome can lead to severe multi-organ dysfunction and can be life-threatening.
Kawasaki Disease or Kawasaki Syndrome typically affects children under 5 years. It is noticed more among children of Japanese and Korean origin. The rash may be worse in the groin. There is fall and rise of temperature. Symptoms of Kawasaki Disease include high fever accompanied by redness in both eyes or redness in the palms and soles. The lymph nodes in the neck may be enlarged. The fingers and toes may develop swelling and discoloration. The mouth and lips usually get severely chapped. There is a rash on the chest and stomach. The rash may be worse in the groin. There is fall and rise of temperature.
It is essential that Kawasaki disease be diagnosed and treated at an early stage to avoid complications with the heart. It can lead to an inflammation of the blood vessels of the heart (vasculitis). There can also be subsequent swelling of the heart muscles, coronary arteries and valves. Kawasaki disease goes through phases. In the initial phase, there is high fever and rashes begin to appear. Mild conjunctivitis is observed. The mouth mucous membranes are inflamed and appear bright red. In the second phase, the child experiences peeling skin on the hands and feet. There may be vomiting and diarrhea. Joint pain and swelling is noticed in the knees, hips and ankles.
Other conditions that have similar symptoms are scarlet fever, Steven Johnson syndrome and Toxic shock syndrome. Urine and blood tests are conducted to diagnose Kawasaki syndrome. Intravenous doses of gamma globulin are given to a child suffering from Kawasaki disease to boost the body's resistance to infection. Aspirin is given to relieve some of the symptoms and prevent blood clots and heart disease.
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: September 26, 2023