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Byline: MIKE JONES Reporter

ATEENAGER died from shock after using a tampon for the first time, her devastated family revealed yesterday.

Natasha Scott-Falber, of Caerwent, Monmouthshire, died five days after falling ill.

Her family had thought the 14-yearold was suffering from norovirus but now believe she died from an ultrarare infection called toxic shock syndrome - which affects just 40 people a year in the UK.

Mum Mandy Scott, dad Mike Falber, stepdad Mike Scott and brother Daniel Falber have launched a campaign to raise awareness of the condition so other sufferers spot the signs earlier.

In a heartbreaking message posted on Facebook, they said: "Natasha died of toxic shock syndrome the first time that she used tampons. However, her symptoms were mistakenly diagnosed as the norovirus.

"Generally speaking, it is accepted knowledge that leaving a tampon in for too long can cause toxic shock syndrome.

"In Natasha's case, she followed all of the instructions and used the tampon correctly. It was simply the introduction of the tampon into her body, which caused toxic shock syndrome to take effect.

"Toxic shock is very rare, but also very deadly."

The teenager, who loved music and dreamed of starring in the West End, remained in "good spirits" after falling ill, and the evening before she died was "telling off" her mother for "fussing" and saying how much better she felt.

"She died peacefully at approximately 6.45am on Valentine's Day after falling asleep watching one of her favourite TV programmes," the teenager's family said.

"We cannot express how much we miss our beautiful, gifted, kind and funny Natasha.

"All of our family, and many others close to us, are still reeling from the shock of losing our wonderful girl.

"We hope that you and your family never have to go through what we have gone through, and are still going through."

The Wyedean School pupil had been selected last year to perform in a backing choir for English tenor Al-fie Boe at St David's Hall, Cardiff.

Her family have now launched a campaign to warn others of the dangers posed by toxic shock syndrome. "We thought that one thing we could do, to honour Natasha, and to help others, would be to start an awareness campaign about toxic shock syndrome," the teenager's family said. "We are in communication with Public Health Wales and the two main tampon companies, and have already had some success with GPs and the Gwent education system.

Toxic shock syndrome affects about 40 people each year in the UK.

Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is caused by harmful toxins released by staphylococcus aureus or streptococcus bacteria - which are found on the skin of up to four in 10 healthy people and aren't usually harmful.

If they enter the bloodstream, it can cause a sudden high fever, a massive drop in blood pressure resulting in dizziness and confusion, and occasionally vomiting and diarrhoea.


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Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 17, 2013
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