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Tragic: Teen Girl Dies of Toxic Shock Syndrome After Using Tampons

The Short of It

A 13-year-old British teen died of Toxic Shock Syndrome after using tampons last year. Now, to honor her daughter during World Sepsis Week, Diane Roberts is speaking out in the hopes of preventing this horrible tragedy from happening to someone else's child.

The Lowdown

We all read the warning labels about TSS on the side of tampon boxes, but think nothing of it. But sadly, for Jemma-Louise Roberts, a competitive swimmer, that worst-case scenario came true.

While on vacation with her family, the young teen developed symptoms similar to those one typically suffers with a stomach virus, such as diarrhea and vomiting. In fact, she went to the doctor and was diagnosed with Norovirus. But when Roberts' condition went from bad to much worse, and her family took her to a hospital, doctors said that, in fact, they believed she had contracted Toxic Shock Syndrome, which can develop from a bacteria when one uses a tampon.

Unthinkably, the young girl died a week later. All from using a tampon; it's just heartbreaking.

The Upshot

While cases of toxic shock syndrome—especially fatal ones—are rare, Roberts' family wants parents to know the symptoms of TSS, which include fever, and symptoms similar to a stomach bug, like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. A rash may appear as well.

The teen's mom told the Manchester Evening News, "My husband had never heard of TSS—if one dad reads this and his daughter falls ill, it could save her life."

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