16-year-old Canadian girl dies of Toxic Shock Syndrome

A 16-year-old Canadian high school student died suddenly last year, suffering from a syndrome of menstrual toxic shock that could be linked to a hygienic tampon, according to the recent report of medical examiners.

What happened to Sara Manitoski, a 16-year-old Canadian girl whose lifeless body was found on March 15, 2017 by her classmates? The findings of recent BC Forensic Pathologists state that the girl died of toxic shock syndrome. The high school girl would have developed this rare but serious infectious disease caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus probably after the use of a tampon, according to the experts.

The death of the girl, athletic and in good health, had shocked her comrades and entourage. This occurred during an organized class trip to Hornby Island, an island in British Columbia. Doctors believe that the staphylococcus aureus bacteria found on the tampon would have caused her death.

Dr. Anthony Chow, Emeritus Professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of British Columbia, reminds Radio Canada that the progression of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is very fast, requires urgent medical intervention or otherwise can be deadly, as it has been the case for Sara Manitoski. This infectious disease can also cause amputation, as it happened to the model Lauren Wasser.

Is hygienic tampon directly involved in TSS? The research carried out so far points rather to a bad use of it. In some women, a staphylococcus aureus present in the vaginal flora can multiply and “take advantage” of the blood stuck in the hygienic tampon to develop. The bacterium produces a dangerous toxin, TSST-1, which will circulate in the bloodstream and cause sepsis, in women without antibodies against this toxin.

Symptoms such as fever, vomiting, diarrhea or rash are all signs that should alert and result in immediate removal of the tampon to be replaced by a sanitary pad. TSS remains an exceptional disease and only 1% of women are carriers in their vaginal flora of staphylococcus aureus at the origin of the infection.

Eric Thomas

Eric, originally from Nigeria, currently resides in Florida and covers a wide range of topics for The talking Democrat.