Media reports ‘flesh-eating’ virus spreading in Japan

(MENAFN) Recent reports from Japan's public broadcaster NHK have highlighted a concerning trend: a significant surge in cases of streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS), commonly referred to as a "flesh-eating" disease. According to data from Japan's National Institute of Infectious Diseases, the number of recorded STSS cases has soared to approximately 801 cases this year alone, as of May 5th. This figure represents a nearly threefold increase compared to the same period last year.

STSS is a severe condition characterized by the rapid spread of infection throughout the body, often resulting in necrosis of limbs and multiple organ failures. Medical experts warn that the syndrome, which carries a fatality rate of up to 30 percent, manifests with symptoms such as sore throat, fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy. Furthermore, clinicians caution that the disease can be contracted through open wounds, making it particularly concerning.

The surge in STSS cases in Japan has raised alarm among health authorities and the public alike. Particularly worrying is the identification of a specific strain of group A Streptococcus, known as M1UK, which is believed to be responsible for the majority of cases. This strain, characterized as highly transmissible, has seen a significant rise in incidence not only in Japan but also globally in recent years, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The current outbreak in Japan is particularly concerning given its pace compared to previous years. Last year, the country witnessed a record number of STSS cases, with 941 infections reported, marking the highest figure ever recorded. With the current surge surpassing the previous year's statistics, urgent measures are being taken to address the spread of this potentially deadly disease and protect public health.



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