WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A mother of five from North Carolina is speaking out about the dangers ultra-absorbent tampons can possibly bring, after suffering from a severe case of toxic shock syndrome.
- Caused by group A streptococcus bacteria, its symptoms, which include sudden high fever, low blood pressure, diarrhea, muscle aches, redness of the eyes, mouth and throat and headaches can be mistaken with flu.
- While TSS is often related to tampon use, the condition can also occur in children.
A mom from North Carolina who nearly died from a rare but serious infection is now speaking out and warning women on the dangers of wearing super-absorbent tampons.
Thirty-two-year-old Greta Zarate, of Jacksonville, N.C., told British news agency, South West News Service (SWNS) that earlier this year, she felt she had flu the same day she got her period. Despite treating herself with over-the-counter flu medications, her condition worsened.
She recalled suffering all of the symptoms of toxic shock syndrome (TSS) however she said she confused it for the flu.
“The only thing I didn’t get was a rash, which is often a symptom of it. But I was getting sicker and sicker. My fever was so high, I was shaky and weak.”
After her nurse sister convinced her to go to the hospital, tests at Onslow Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville revealed she had an enlarged spleen with extremely low blood pressure. Initially, doctors cannot determine what’s causing her sickness, until a nurse who learned that she was having her period, pointed out that Zarate may be suffering from TSS.
Doctors have confirmed through vaginal swabs that Zarate had developed TSS.
Although the condition is often linked to feminine hygiene products like super-absorbent tampons, it can happen to anyone including children. It is caused by Staphylococcus Aureus bacteria or by group A streptococcus bacteria.
According to the Mayo Clinic, possible symptoms include sudden high fever, low blood pressure, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, muscle aches, redness of the eyes, mouth and throat, seizures and headaches.
Doctors ruled that Zarate’s staph infection was caused by microscopic cuts to her vaginal wall that occurred after she removed a super-absorbent tampon.
“When you pull a dry tampon out of your body, it actually leaves tiny scrapes on your vaginal wall which allow bacteria to enter your bloodstream and that’s what happened to me,” said Zarate, a mother of five.
She said to get rid of the infection, a blood transfusion and antibiotics were given to her, and also spent four days in intensive care and 11 in the hospital.
“They said if I waited another day it could have had dire consequences. People who get toxic shock syndrome can end up losing limbs or dying so I do feel so lucky,” Zarate said.
Source: Fox News