Japan is on alert due to the increase in cases of a bacterial infection that has already been detected in practically all provinces in the country. According to Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID), 378 cases of Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) were recorded in the first two months of this year, a significant increase compared to 2023, the year in which it was recorded. a total of 941 cases.

Authorities do not yet know what caused this increase, but they fear that the year will be marked by a record number of cases of SCTE, which are caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes type A — or Strep A. “There are still many unknown factors relating to the mechanisms behind fulminant (severe and sudden) and At this stage we cannot explain them“, said the NIID in a statement cited by the British newspaper The Guardian.

In the same newspaper, Ken Kikuchi, professor of infectious diseases at Tokyo Women’s Medical University, admitted that he was “very concerned” about the increase in the number of people with severe infections caused by the bacteria streptococcus pyogenes. Kikuchi considers that the increase may be related to the Japanese government’s decision to lower Covid-19 from level 2, which includes tuberculosis and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, to 5 — at the level of seasonal flu. He points out that this change will have led many people to abandon basic measures to prevent infections, such as hand disinfection.

“In my opinion, more than 50% of Japanese people will have been infected by [vírus] SARS-CoV-2. People’s immune systems after recovering from Covid-19 can change their susceptibility to some microorganisms”, he admits, warning that it is necessary to quickly control the number of infections.


According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, SCTE is a rare but serious bacterial infection caused by group A Strep bacteria when they spread to deep tissues and the bloodstream. The organization states that, in almost half of the cases of SCTE, experts do not know how the bacteria entered the body.

“Sometimes bacteria enter the body through openings in the skin, such as injuries or surgical wounds. The bacteria can also enter the body through mucous membranes, such as the skin inside the nose and throat”, he points out. The CDC also explains that it is “very rare” for a person with SCTE to pass the infection on to others. However, he adds that “any Strep A infection can turn into SCTE and it is very easy to spread group A bacteria“.

The first symptoms to appear with SCTE are fever, muscle pain, nausea and vomiting. The situation may worsen and include reactions such as hypotension and tachycardia. According to the CDC, in extreme cases it can lead to organ failure and necrosis.

According to the Japan Times, in 2022, 941 cases of SCTE were recorded in the country and 894 in 2019. Japanese authorities are appealing to the population to take the same type of precautions they already took during the Covid-19 pandemic, namely disinfecting hands and respiratory etiquette.

Source: https://observador.pt/2024/03/15/japao-com-numero-recorde-de-infecoes-provocadas-pela-bacteria-streptococcus/

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