Skin rashes accompanied by a fever could be indicative of serious or life-threatening illness in adults and warrant immediate medical attention, according to a lecture to be presented at the American Osteopathic Association’s Annual Osteopathic Medical Conference and Exposition (OMED).

Although children often contract mild viral illnesses that cause rashes with fevers, in adults this can be due to a rare or difficult to diagnose disease. Christine Giesa, DO, FACOEP-d, director of osteopathic medical education for Crozer-Keystone Health System, will cover in her talk some of these serious and life-threatening diseases including:

  • Toxic Shock Syndrome
  • Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis
  • Staph Scalded Skin Syndrome
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
  • Meningococcemia
  • Purpura Fulminans
  • Strep Toxic Shock Syndrome

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In particular, toxic shock syndrome (TSS) remains a top concern as the occurrence rate has remained relatively unchanged despite mortality rates for menstrual-related cases of TSS dropping to less than 5%. Non-menstrual cases of TSS can occur from surgery or injury and affect patients of all ages and genders.

Dr. Giesa added that survival rates increase dramatically for patients who receive quick, aggressive treatment for the underlying cause of the rash, making it important for patients and physicians to understand the need to seek quick medical attention.

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