Now, rare flesh-eating bacteria that can kill humans in 48 hours spreading in Japan

Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome's mortality rate is 30%

Virus Outbreak China Cases of Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome (STSS) is on the rise in Japan (Representational image)

Did you know about the existence of a rare bacteria that feeds on flesh that can claim a human life in under 48 hours? According to the latest reports coming from Tokyo, Japan is battling the disease caused by the said bacteria.

Cases of Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome (STSS), the disease caused by a rare "flesh-eating bacteria", is on the rise in Japan, a report by Bloomberg claimed. While as many as 941 cases of STSS were reported in the country in 2023, the number of cases till June 2 stands at a record 941 this year, the report claimed. The data was attributed to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, which has been reportedly tracking incidences of the disease since the turn of the century.

Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome carries a mortality rate of 30% and Tokyo is bracing for as many as 2,500 cases by year-end, the report added. According to health professionals, it is people aged over 50 years who are most vulnerable to the bacteria. 

What is Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome? 

According to the website of Mayo Clinic, Toxic shock syndrome is a rare, life-threatening complication of certain types of bacterial infections. Often toxic shock syndrome results from toxins produced by Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria, but the condition may also be caused by toxins produced by group A streptococcus (strep) bacteria.

A sudden high fever, rashes resembling a sunburn, particularly on your palms and soles, low blood pressure, vomiting or diarrhea, swellings and muscle aches are among the symptoms of the disease.

A Japanese medical source reportedly told Bloomberg that if a patient notices swelling in the foot in the morning, it can expand to the knee by noon. He/she can expire within 48 hours.

In late 2022 at least five European nations reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) an increase in cases of invasive group A streptococcus (iGAS) disease, which includes STSS. The WHO said the rise in cases followed the end of Covid restrictions, the report said.

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