One hundred and thirty cases of toxic shock syndrome not associated with menstruation have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control, including 57 with onset in 1981 (12% of reported cases in 1981). These cases show that the syndrome occurs in a wide range of clinical settings and is associated with Staphylococcus aureus infections at a variety of sites: focal cutaneous and subcutaneous lesions, surgical-wound infections, postpartum infections, adenitis, bursitis, deep abscesses, and "primary" bacteremia. Although the clinical characteristics of nonmenstrual toxic shock syndrome are identical to those for menstrual toxic shock syndrome, the epidemiologic and demographic features are different. Of particular interest is the contrast in the racial distribution of the menstrual and nonmenstrual cases. Toxic shock syndrome can occur in persons of any age, race, or sex and must be considered in the differential diagnosis for any patient with a compatible illness.