Japan Reports Spike in Dangerous Infection

Japan Reports Spike in Dangerous Infection

(RepublicanView.org) – The number of streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS) cases has been on the rise in Japan. The country’s Health Ministry said it has recorded 977 instances of the dangerous bacterial infection as of June 2, following last year’s record of 941, but cannot point to any cause or source. The disease can have a mortality rate of around 30%, and around 77 deaths linked to the infection have been recorded among the latest numbers. In 2023, the figure was 97 for the entire year.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that STSS can be deadly, even if treated. It is caused by a group A streptococcus (GAS) bacterium that usually causes fever and throat infections but can sometimes enter the bloodstream via a self-generated toxin. In these instances, serious illnesses such as toxic shock can result.

Toxic shock syndrome is usually thought of as a condition related to menstruation products such as tampons, but experts say it affects men, post-menopausal women, and children and that it can be contracted via open skin wounds. Its symptoms include low blood pressure, vomiting, a sunburn-like rash, muscle pain, eye redness, headaches, seizures, and confusion.

The World Health Organization said in 2022 that some European countries had noted an uptick in invasive group A streptococcus figures, as well as scarlet fever. France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom recorded increases, mainly affecting children under ten.

In November 2022, Santé Publique France reported regional clusters with pediatric fatalities. The Irish Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) documented 57 cases, with 15 involving children under 10, during the same period. The Public Health Agency of the Netherlands stated that between March and July 2022, there was a stark increase, while in Sweden, there were 93 cases between October and December. In the UK, the numbers were higher at 509 for the year.

The countries’ response was to enhance surveillance and information campaigns aimed at improving early detection rates and prompt reporting. Other European countries were asked to be vigilant and collate information to give a continent-wide picture.

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