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Flesh-eating bacteria that can kill people in 48 hours is spreading in Japan.

Rare flesh-eating bacteria that can kill in 2 days are spreading across Japan.

A disease caused by rare  flesh-eating bacteria  that can kill people within 48 hours is spreading in Japan after the country relaxed Covid-era restrictions.

Cases of streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS) reached 977 this year as of June 2, higher than the record 941 cases reported last year , according to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, which monitors the incidence of the disease. disease since 1999.

Group A streptococcus (GAS) typically causes swelling and sore throats in children, known as “strep throat,” but some types of bacteria can lead to rapid development of symptoms, including pain and swelling in the limbs, fever, low blood pressure. , which can be followed by necrosis, respiratory problems, organ failure and death. People over 50 are more prone to the disease.

“Most deaths occur within 48 hours,” said Ken Kikuchi, professor of infectious diseases at Tokyo Women’s Medical University. “ As soon as the patient notices swelling in the foot in the morning, it can expand to the knee at noon and the patient can die within 48 hours.”

Other countries with recent bacterial outbreaks

Other countries have experienced recent outbreaks. As of late 2022, at least five European countries have reported to the World Health Organization an increase in cases of invasive group A streptococcal disease (iGAS), which includes STSS. The WHO said the rise in cases occurred after Covid restrictions ended .

At the new rate of infections, the number of cases in Japan could reach 2,500 this year, with a “terrifying” mortality rate of 30%, Kikuchi said.

Kikuchi urged people to maintain hand hygiene and treat any open wounds. He said patients can carry GAS in their gut , which can contaminate their hands through feces.

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