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Rare Disease Caused by a "Flesh-Eating Bacteria" Can Kill you Within 48 Hours; Know the Symptoms and Precautions

A deadly disease caused by a rare “flesh-eating bacteria” is spreading rapidly in Japan, as reported by Bloomberg on Saturday. As of June 2, a total of 977 cases of streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS) have been reported in the country. This figure surpasses the previous record of 941 cases reported for the entire year […]

Rare Disease Caused by a
Rare Disease Caused by a "Flesh-Eating Bacteria" Can Kill you Within 48 Hours; Know the Symptoms and Precautions

A deadly disease caused by a rare “flesh-eating bacteria” is spreading rapidly in Japan, as reported by Bloomberg on Saturday.

As of June 2, a total of 977 cases of streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS) have been reported in the country. This figure surpasses the previous record of 941 cases reported for the entire year of 2023, according to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, which has been monitoring STSS cases since 1999.

The rare bacteria, known as Group A Streptococcus or GAS, typically causes symptoms such as swelling and sore throat. However, in severe cases, the bacteria can lead to rapid onset of symptoms including limb pain and swelling, high fever, and low blood pressure. This can progress to tissue necrosis, respiratory distress, organ failure, and death, as noted by Bloomberg.

“Most deaths occur within 48 hours,” said Ken Kikuchi, a professor of infectious diseases at Tokyo Women’s Medical University. “Once a patient notices foot swelling in the morning, it can progress to the knee by noon, with death occurring within 48 hours.”

Kikuchi warned that at the current infection rate, Japan could see up to 2,500 cases of STSS this year, with a troubling mortality rate of 30%.

He emphasized the importance of maintaining hand hygiene and promptly treating any open wounds to prevent the spread of the bacteria.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), STSS can affect anyone but is most common in older adults aged 65 or older. People with open wounds, diabetes, or alcohol use disorder are at increased risk for developing STSS, the CDC stated on its website.

Besides Japan, several other countries have also reported recent outbreaks of streptococcal toxic shock syndrome, according to Bloomberg. In late 2022, at least five European nations informed the World Health Organization of an uptick in cases of invasive group A streptococcus (iGAS) disease, which includes STSS. The WHO linked this rise in cases to the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

The situation underscores the global health challenge posed by these bacterial infections and the importance of vigilance and rapid medical intervention in affected regions.

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Flesh Eating BacteriaJapanRare DiseaseTDGThe Daily Guardian