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Toxic shock syndrome spreads in Japan – symptoms resemble flu

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A group of streptococci pyogenes. © IMAGO/CAVALLINI JAMES / BSIP

In Japan, the number of toxic shock syndrome cases reached a new record high. Health experts are concerned about this.

TOKYO – Health experts are already on alert in March 2024: Japan has counted 474 cases of toxic shock syndrome (TSS), more than half the short-term total of the previous year. Infections caused by streptococcal bacteria are often fatal: one in three infected people die. The government in Tokyo has sought to allay fears of a significant increase in cases. But the number of diseases is now very high.

Toxic shock syndrome in Japan: causes still unclear

Japan is not the only country affected by toxic shock syndrome, government spokesman Yoshimasa Hayashi tried to reassure in March. Since the end of the coronavirus pandemic, the number of cases has “increased in many countries,” it said from Japan. In early June, the Japanese Ministry of Health announced that there were 977 cases at the end of May, which was more than the previous year – in which Japan reached its all-time high of 941.

977 cases out of a population of 125 million is not a lot. However, as the disease is said to be more common in adults, health experts view the numbers with concern Death occurs in 30 percent of cases. The reasons for the rising number of infections in Japan are still unclear, according to Japanese Health Minister Takemi Keizo, amid a relaxation of coronavirus measures. Ken Kikuchi, a professor of infectious diseases at Women’s Medical University in Tokyo, said he was “very concerned” about the rising number of cases.

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The professor sees Corona as responsible in another way. “In my opinion, more than 50 percent of Japanese people have Sars-CoV-2 [dem Virus, das Covid-19 verursacht] Contagious,” Kikuchi told the British newspaper Guardian. It is thought that after a corona infection, people’s immune systems may change, making them more susceptible to microbes. “We need to elucidate the infectious cycle of severe invasive streptococcal diseases and bring them under immediate control,” warned the professor.

These symptoms can occur in toxic shock syndrome

Type A streptococci are responsible for diseases such as tonsillitis and scarlet fever. In some cases, these bacteria can enter the bloodstream – for example through minor wounds. This triggers toxic shock syndrome. Later necrosis may occur. This means bacteria can kill tissue, causing organ failure and circulatory shock, which can lead to death. Hence the Japanese media call this disease “flesh disease”. According to the journal, toxic shock syndrome can occur MSD Manual Can also be caused by staphylococcal bacteria.

Toxic shock syndrome is sometimes referred to as “tampon disease” because most cases occur in connection with the use of tampons during menstruation. Loud MSD Manual TSS can cause sudden loss of consciousness, tissue necrosis, shock, thrombosis, multisystem organ failure, and death within 48 hours. Earlier, sufferers often had flu-like symptoms.

Symptoms of toxic shock syndrome include:

  • high fever
  • It’s getting cold
  • Lower blood pressure
  • A sunburn-like rash
  • diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • headache
  • Muscle pains
  • vomiting
  • laziness
  • wheezing

The Japanese health minister recommends taking the same sanitary precautions against streptococci as against the coronavirus. “We want people to take preventive measures such as keeping their fingers and hands clean and following proper cough etiquette,” Keiso Zur said. The Japan Times. Streptococci are spread through droplets or through direct contact with an infected person or contaminated surface. Meanwhile, a recent outbreak of an avian influenza pathogen has caused concern to the World Health Organization (WHO).

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