A surge in deadly bacterial infection has been recorded in Japan (3 photos)

Category: Health, PEGI 0+
21 June 2024

In the Land of the Rising Sun, the number of cases of a deadly disease caused by a “flesh-eating bacterium” is growing. Group A hemolytic streptococcus can kill a person within 48 hours.

According to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, 977 cases of infection have already been identified in just a few months of this year, exceeding last year's record of 941.

Group A streptococcus usually causes mild infections such as pharyngitis. However, some strains can lead to terrible complications: fever, low blood pressure, breathing problems, necrosis of the limbs, multiple organ failure.

People over 50 are most vulnerable.

“Most deaths occur within 48 hours,” says Professor Ken Kikuchi. “Swelling of the foot appears in the morning, by midday it can spread to the knee, and within a matter of hours the person dies.”

At the end of 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported an increase in incidence in Ireland, France, Sweden and the Netherlands. The situation has worsened since the easing of measures to combat COVID-19.

“At the current rate, up to 2,500 cases could be detected by the end of the year, and the mortality rate would be a terrifying 30%,” Kikuchi warned.

"We can strengthen our immunity if we are constantly exposed to bacteria. But this mechanism was missing during the coronavirus pandemic, and this may be one of the reasons for the sharp increase in cases."

The professor reminded about hand hygiene and wound treatment.

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