Everything You Need To Know About The Deadly 'Flesh-Eating Bacteria' Threat In Japan

Did you just get your leaves in order and were about to book your flights to attend Gion Matsuri in Japan? Well not to be the buzzkill, but you’d want to learn a little about a potential bacteria outbreak posing a serious health hazard in Japan.

Years after battling, surviving, and forgetting COVID, the news of the outbreak of a rare ‘flesh-eating bacteria’ has been doing rounds in Japan. According to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, this bacteria is causing a disease called Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome (STSS). It’s known to kill within 48 hours of being infected. They call it ‘flesh-eating’ because this bacteria facilitates necrotizing fasciitis. In layman's terms, this means the skin under tissues rapidly gets destroyed due to bacterial infection, and in severe cases, can lead to the loss of limbs. 

While the internet says that this bacteria enters through a breakage or a wound in the skin, it’s still largely unknown as to how people are contracting this disease. However, there are some symptoms you can look out for like:

  1. Fever and chills
  2. Muscle Ache and nausea
  3. Low blood pressure
  4. Palpitations
  5. Swelling in the limbs
  6. Multiple Organ Failure

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Japan recorded 977 cases of STSS in early June this year and over 1,000 cases overall (977 this year, 941 last year). People aged over 50, with weak immunity, or with any open wounds or a breakout on the skin are prone to this disease. 

Although the country hasn’t put out any travel guidelines or restrictions yet, it’s best advised to practice the good old preventive measures you followed for COVID-19– regularly sanitizing, avoiding unnecessary contact with a person or object, and mask up! It’s important to remain calm,  maintain a hygienic routine, and stay up-to-date with all information regarding STSS.