Toxins from Staphylococcus aureus, or staph, bacteria and group A streptococcus, or strep, bacteria are both causes of toxic shock syndrome, according to Mayo Clinic. Factors associated with toxic shock syndrome in people who do not menstruate include having a viral infection such as the flu, having recently had surgery, and having burns or cuts on the skin.
Though rare, the complications of a bacterial infection that result in toxic shock syndrome can be fatal, states Mayo Clinic. While the condition is often associated with menstruating women and super-absorbent tampons, it can affect men, children and postmenopausal women who have any of the risk factors. Symptoms of toxic shock syndrome include a sunburn-like rash on the palms and soles, vomiting or diarrhea, low blood pressure, a high fever that occurs suddenly and muscle aches. Seizures and a reddening of the eyes, throat and mouth are other possible symptoms of toxic shock syndrome. Because toxic shock syndrome progresses rapidly, people exhibiting symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.
Left untreated, toxic shock syndrome can lead to shock, renal failure and death, notes Mayo Clinic. Patients presenting symptoms typically receive antibiotics, fluids and medications to help stabilize blood pressure while doctors determine the source of the infection and the course of treatment.