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A bacterial infection surges in Japan causing death in 48 hrs

A bacterial infection surges in Japan causing death in 48 hrs

Tokyo: In Japan, a rare bacteria-born disease is spreading, which could kill humans within 48 hours of infection. The "flesh-eating" bacteria is causing Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS)', particularly in Tokyo, The Economic Times reported.

In the first six months of 2024, Tokyo alone reported 145 cases, and the majority of the infected were adults who were aged over 30. The death rate is around 30 per cent so far, local media in Japan reported.

Japan's National Infectious Disease Institute informed that the total number of cases of the disease has reached 977 so far, which is more than last year's total of 941. This count was updated on June 2, the institute said.

As per reports, Group A Streptococcus (GAS) is a common condition among STSS-affected children, inducing swelling and a sore throat. However, some strains of this bacterium cause severe and rapidly progressing symptoms such as limb pain and swelling, fever, and low blood pressure. These symptoms later escalate to necrosis, respiratory issues, organ failure, and even death, making adults over 50 years of age susceptible to such outcomes.

Professor in infectious diseases at Tokyo Women's Medical University, Ken Kikuchi, said that most of the deaths happened within 48 hours, Bloomberg reported. She said that there were cases in which people notice swelling in the foot one morning, it expands to the knee by noon, and they die within two days.

In 2022, at least five European nations reported to the World Health Organization an increase in cases of invasive group A streptococcus (iGAS) diseases. These include STSS. WHO meanwhile stated that the increase in cases of such infections happened after Covid restrictions were lifted.

Kikuchi said that if the current rate continues in Japan, by the end of the year, cases will reach 2,500, at a 30 per cent mortality rate.

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TAGS:WHOJapanHealthlethal disease
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