Oms (Organizzazione mondiale della sanità)

Streptococcus A (Stss), alarm in Japan: symptoms, contagion and how dangerous it is

There is alarm in Japan due to the spread of a very dangerous bacterial infection with a mortality rate of 30%: streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS).
According to Japanese experts, the cause of the bacterial infection is Streptococcus A, the strains of which have seen a notable increase since last year.
However, the incidence of Streptococcus infections seems to have increased not only in Japan but also in European countries such as Italy.
Looking at Japan, where the situation is alarming, the provisional data released by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (Niid) reveal that in 2023 on the island of the rising sun alone, 941 cases of Stss were recorded, i.e.
the most serious and group A streptococcal disease is often fatal.
Elderly people are indicated as those most at risk of infection.
However, according to data collected by Japanese experts, fatal infections are more common among patients aged 50 and over.
What are the symptoms to recognize an STSS infection? Here's everything you need to know about Streptococcus A.
read also Covid, the truth about long-term symptoms revealed Streptococcus A (Stss): what it is, what the symptoms are and how long the infection lasts Toxic shock syndrome (Stss) represents one of the most aggressive and dangerous forms of streptococcal infections.
This particular form of infection is caused by strain group A: Streptococcus pyogenes.
Although infections in this group usually cause mild symptoms, in some cases they can become serious.
In itself, Streptococcus A can cause: streptococcal pharyngitis; scarlet fever; rheumatic fever; impetigo; bronchitis; pneumonia; more serious infections such as sepsis and meningitis; Stss.
The symptoms obviously vary depending on the type of infection contracted through this bacterium, but they generally appear between 2-5 days after infection.
The most common symptoms are: sore throat; swollen and red tonsils with plaques; swollen neck lymph nodes; fever; abdominal pain; rash; cough: difficulty breathing.
In more serious cases, however, this infection can also cause organ failure and necrosis.
For diagnosis, it is necessary to undergo a swab.
Generally the infection, if not contracted in a serious form such as Stss, lasts 3-4 days.
Streptococcus A (Stss): how it is transmitted and number of infections The numbers speak for themselves.
Infections are growing rapidly in Japan and a surge in cases and deaths is expected in 2024.
In fact, if 941 cases were recorded in 2023, 378 patients affected by STSS were reported in the months of January and February 2024 alone , with cases found to be widespread in all but two of Japan's 47 prefectures.
The cause of the surge in infections is currently unclear, although streptococcal infections are known to spread mainly through droplets or wounds.
According to experts, the main causes for an increase in infections are: Seasonality.
The cold months favor the spread of the bacterium.
Antibiotic resistance.
Inappropriate treatment can make the infection more persistent.
Lack of hygiene.
Frequent hand washing is key to preventing the spread.
Some experts hypothesize that the Covid virus may alter sensitivity to some microorganisms.
read also Italian public health, the numbers collected by Adnkronos are disheartening Streptococcus A (Stss): treatment and prevention Usually the treatment for streptococcus itself is rather simple.
Patients should be given the antibiotic amoxicillin for ten days.
In case of allergy it will be replaced with cephalosporins or macrolides and after 48 hours from the start of therapy you should no longer be contagious.
But to combat the spread of Streptococcus A it is necessary to act by preventing the possibility of contracting the disease.
Experts recommend the same hygiene measures in place during the coronavirus pandemic.
To prevent Streptococcus infection, in fact, it is important to: wash your hands often; avoid close contact with sick people cover your mouth and nose with your elbow when coughing or sneezing.

Author: Hermes A.I.

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