Deadly Flesh-Eating Bacteria Infection Spreads Across Japan

Bacterial infections, some of which can be deadly, have recently spiked in Japan.

As of June 2nd, the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Japan reported 977 cases of streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS), a disease caused by Group A Streptococcus bacterium.

This is about three times the amount of instances recorded during the same period last year. The spike’s origin remains a mystery.

Professor Ken Kikuchi of Tokyo Women’s Medical University suggests that this may be associated with compromised immunity during the COVID outbreak.

Clinical professor of medicine at the University of Kansas in Wichita, Thomas Moore, M.D., expressed his skepticism that the epidemic is to blame.

But, according to Dr. Marc Siegel, a medical commentator for Fox News and a clinical professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center,  an impaired immune system can be further compromised with STSS.

The CDC in the United States says streptococcal toxic shock syndrome is a sporadic and dangerous bacterial illness.

In this case, bacteria belonging to Group A Streptococcus have entered the circulation and deep tissues.

Even while STSS is not often communicable, the less severe group A strep infection is very infectious and can cause STSS if it travels to tissues or circulation.

Muscle pains, nausea, vomiting, chills, and fever are the most common early symptoms. Serious complications include irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, infection, tissue death, and organ failure, which can develop within a couple of days when blood pressure begins to fall.

One out of every ten people who have STSS will die as a result of the infection.

The diagnostic criteria for STSS are low blood pressure, group A strep, and issues with two or more organs (blood, kidney, liver, lung, skin, or soft tissue). However, there is no conclusive test for it.

According to the CDC, individuals who are at a higher risk include those who are over the age of 65, have open wounds, have diabetes, or an alcohol use disorder.

Using antibiotics helps reduce the spread of disease.