Deadly flesh-eating bacteria spread in Japan

ince COVID-19, a new and deadly problem has emerged: Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome (STSS), a fast-acting infection that can be fatal within 48 hours.

| Updated: 17 June, 2024 9:53 pm IST
Since COVID-19, a new and deadly problem has emerged: Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome (STSS), a fast-acting infection that can be fatal within 48 hours.
Since COVID-19, a new and deadly problem has emerged: Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome (STSS), a fast-acting infection that can be fatal within 48 hours.

NEW DELHI: Since COVID-19, a new and deadly problem has emerged: Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome (STSS), a fast-acting infection that can be fatal within 48 hours. Recent data from Japan’s disease institute shows a rapid rise in cases, reaching 1,000 this year. STSS is caused by Group A Streptococcus (GAS) bacteria, which release toxins that trigger intense inflammation, leading to rapid tissue breakdown, severe pain, and shock. This infection can spread swiftly through the bloodstream, resulting in organ failure.

Last year saw 97 deaths from STSS, the second-highest toll in six years. Some medical reports highlight the disease’s swift progression, with most fatalities occurring within 48 hours of symptoms appearing. There’s a potential link between the recent surge in cases and weakened immune systems post-COVID-19. Exposure to bacteria typically strengthens immunity, but this was limited during the pandemic, increasing susceptibility to infections.

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While primarily affecting Japan, there are concerns about international spread through travel. Prioritizing good hygiene and prompt treatment of injuries is crucial to prevention. Seek immediate medical help if experiencing severe pain, high fever, or redness at a wound site.

Effective public health measures, including monitoring and swift responses to new cases, are essential to halt the spread of this dangerous infection. Japanese health authorities are actively monitoring and intensifying efforts to control STSS. Public awareness campaigns educate about symptoms and the importance of prompt medical care. Hospitals are prepared to diagnose and treat STSS cases promptly while promoting improved hygiene practices. As of now, there are no active cases or reported symptoms of STSS in India.

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