Japan reports over 900 cases of tissue-damaging disease

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Editor : Esma Didem Şimşek
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Japan records a record high of 941 cases of tissue-damaging bacterial disease, primarily Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS), calling for heightened preventative measures

Japan reports over 900 cases of tissue-damaging disease

The incidence of a rare yet severe bacterial infection surged to a record 941 cases in Japan last year, prompting health officials to advocate for preventative measures. 

Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS), primarily caused by group A streptococcus, witnessed a stark increase from previous years, reaching its peak in 2023. 

The National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) noted a significant uptick compared to the average annual number of cases ranging from 100 to 200.

Characterized by tissue necrosis, STSS, commonly referred to as the "flesh-eating disease," poses grave risks, especially to individuals over 30, with a mortality rate of 30%. 

While many strep infections are asymptomatic or manifest minor symptoms like sore throat and skin infections, bloodstream invasion can lead to severe complications such as low blood pressure, organ failure and death. 

Antibiotics serve as the primary treatment, but severe cases may necessitate surgical removal of infected tissues. 
Health authorities stress the importance of wound care, hand hygiene and prompt antibiotic administration. 

Health Minister Keizo Takemi attributed the surge partially to the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, leading to increased respiratory infections. 

With group A streptococcus transmission via droplets and surface contact, Takemi emphasizes the criticality of hygiene practices and cough etiquette to curb infections.

The government encourages proactive measures to mitigate the spread and impact of STSS amid the evolving public health landscape.

Source: Newsroom

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