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Expected Duration

Shock and other life-threatening symptoms of toxic shock syndrome can develop suddenly. Once symptoms begin, death can follow quickly if the patient is not taken to a hospital immediately. Among hospitalized patients, the length of illness varies. Many patients require prolonged hospital treatment for kidney failure, liver failure or for severe respiratory problems that require mechanical ventilation (in which a machine breathes for the patient).

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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