A Canadian teenager died in March 2017 during an overnight school trip due to toxic shock syndrome. The 16-year-old girl was on an education trip on Hornby Island, near Vancouver Island, and was unresponsive in bed.
Deadly School Trip
Sara Manitoski was discovered by her friends who assumed the teenager was sleeping. Sara's friends left her in her room and went to get breakfast. Upon returning, Sara's friends saw her alarm still going off and the teen in bed, unresponsive. The paramedics and school staff attempted to revive Sara but were unsuccessful.
The day before she died, Sara complained that she was suffering from menstrual cramps. Her friends stated that Sara did not eat very much before she retired for the night. Her classmates reported that they heard rapid, shallowing breathing coming from her bed while she slept.
A year after Sara's death, it has been released that the teen had a deadly strain of Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria and other symptoms that stem from toxic shock syndrome (TSS).
Coroner Courtney Cote claimed that Sara was found with redness on her neck, upper arms, lower abdomen, chest, and thighs. Cote performed several tests on Sara's tampon that was still in place during the time of Sara's death. The coroner also noted that while the bacteria discovered in Sara was confirmed, it hasn't ruled out yet if the source of the bacteria was solely the tampon.
What Is TSS?
TSS is described as a rare, fatal illness that comes from bacterial toxins and can occur in menstruating women, men, and children. The strain of staph bacteria can enter the bloodstream through viral infection, conceptive sponges, or cuts and burns after surgery. If a person becomes infected with TSS, they can get flu-like symptoms and if it is left untreated, it could become fatal within two days.
In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported over 300 cases in the United States of TSS and over 20 deaths that occurred in men and women.
Sara's sister, Carli Manitoski, shared on her Facebook the dangers of TSS and why more women need to be aware of it.
"There is such little education on this and it needs to be brought to light. Such an unnecessary and tragic thing to happen to such an amazing young lady. I wouldn't want this to happen to anyone else and if this post makes even one person aware and go look up and educate themselves on TSS then I am grateful," Carli stated.