Scientists Are Working on a Vaccine for Toxic Shock Syndrome
Thank goodness for scientists who are working on vaccines for various infections. Because of their bright minds, humans can avoid getting whooping cough, many forms of HPV, and myriad other diseases.
All about TSS
One vaccine that’s currently in the works is for Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), an infection that’s caused by an overgrowth of Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria.
TSS can cause a fever, fatigue, vomiting, and if the disease progresses enough, it can lead to death. TSS typically impacts two groups of people: People who have compromised immune systems and people who use tampons, also known as women.
TSS itself is a relatively “new” disease. It first emerged in 1980. “General symptoms of sepsis or blood poisoning occurred in young women who had used so-called super tampons during their periods,” Science Daily reports. “This is why the syndrome was also known as tampon disease. This subsequently led to the absorption capacity of tampons being regulated.”
This news is pretty amazing because although the infection is incredibly rare—there were only 26 cases reported in the U.S. last year—it has made more than a handful of women incredibly ill over the past few years.
“In 2015, we broke the story of Lauren Wasser, a model who lost her leg and part of one foot after she contracted TSS from wearing a tampon,” Vice reports. “That same year, a string of teenagers in Michigan were hospitalized and a 13-year-old girl in the UK died from the infection, also from wearing tampons.”
All of that? Incredibly scary.
The vaccine’s deets
The possibly groundbreaking vaccine was developed by a team of researchers from the Medical University of Vienna’s Department of Clinical Pharmacology. The vaccine isn’t ready for clinical use quite yet—that could take more than a few years because it’s still in a Phase I trial.
But this is how the vaccine could work:
- It requires two shots—an initial shot and a booster.
- Once a person is vaccinated, it could provide immunity for five years.
Simple and pretty rad.
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Image of vaccine via Shutterstock
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