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09/26/23 Public Health Topic: Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome (STSS)

Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS) is a rare, but serious bacterial infection. STSS can develop very quickly into low blood pressure, multiple organ failure, and even death.

How you get STSS

For nearly half of people who get STSS, experts do not know how the bacteria got into the body. Sometimes the bacteria get into the body through openings in the skin, like an injury or surgical wound. The bacteria can also get into the body through mucus membranes, like the skin inside the nose and throat.

STSS is rarely contagious

It is very rare for someone with STSS to spread the infection to other people. However, any group A strep infection can turn into STSS, and it is very easy to spread group A strep bacteria.

Prevent STSS

There are no vaccines to prevent group A strep infections, but there are things you can do to help protect yourself and others.

To help prevent group A strep infections, you should:

  • Clean and care for wounds

  • Wash your hands often.

  • Take antibiotics, if prescribed

To learn more about STSS visit:

Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome: All You Need to Know | CDC

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