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Deadly infection is spreading in Japan – experts are sounding the alarm

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Deadly infection is spreading in Japan – experts are sounding the alarm

Experts are sounding the alarm: Streptococcal-induced toxic shock syndrome (STSS) is spreading at an unprecedented rate in Japan. The bacterial infection, which can be fatal in some cases, has already reached 378 cases in the first two months of this year, the Guardian confirms, citing the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID).

Rapid increase in streptococcal diseases

Comparative figures from the previous year show the drama of the situation: in the entire year of 2023 there were a total of 941 cases of STSS. The NIID data raises fears that the numbers could rise significantly this year.

Particularly worrying: While older people are normally considered a risk group, deaths are now increasing among people under 50 years of age.

Danger from “Streptococcus pyogenes”

The cause of most cases is the bacterium “Streptococcus pyogenes”, which often causes sore throats in children and is often present unnoticed in people. The bacterium can be highly contagious and cause serious illness; around thirty percent of STSS cases are fatal.

Symptoms in older people include cold-like symptoms, but these can worsen and develop into serious illnesses such as pneumonia or meningitis.

Losing corona protective measures as a cause?

Experts suspect that the increase in infections is related to the end of strict corona protection measures in Japan. Since Covid-19 was classified at the level of a seasonal flu in May 2023, people seem to be less cautious. The Japanese Ministry of Health recommends following the same hygienic precautions established during the coronavirus pandemic.

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