Streptococcus suis is known to cause sporadic infections in people who have occupational exposure to pigs and pig meat. A large outbreak occurred in China in 2005, where there was 62% mortality among those who developed toxic shock syndrome. Despite S. suis being common in pigs, this is the first published report of a human case of S. suis toxic shock syndrome in Australia.
In April 2007, a 41-year-old man developed sudden-onset lower abdominal pain and rigors. Fevers, headache, diarrhoea, vomiting and dizziness developed and continued throughout the day. In the evening, he presented to the emergency department of a suburban non-teaching hospital in Melbourne. He had no pre-existing illness and had worked for 5 months as a pet-food processor, handling carcasses of sheep, cattle and pigs.
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