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    A message to Sri Lankans about the disease in Japan which kills a victim within 48 hours

    Dr. Samitha Ginige, Head of the Department of Epidemiology of the Ministry of Health, says that there is no need for the people of this country to be unduly afraid of the rare bacterial infection that is rapidly spreading in Japan.

    He points out that it is a bacterial condition among the general public, and it can rarely lead to a fatal condition as a result and complication.

    Antibiotics are capable of changing this, but he emphasizes that rarely there are bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.

    A disease caused by a rare ‘flesh-eating bacteria’ that can kill people within 48 hours is spreading in Japan, Bloomberg reported last Saturday.

    It said that this bacterium called Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS) is an aggressive disease that can be fatal within 48 hours of infection.

    As of June 2 this year, 977 cases have been reported in Japan.

    According to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, which has been tracking cases of the disease since 1999, this year’s number of cases has increased compared to last year’s record of 941 cases.

    It was stated in the report that common symptoms in children include swelling and a sore throat, but some bacteria can cause a rapid progression of symptoms, including pain and swelling in the limbs, fever, low blood pressure, which can progress to breathing problems, organ failure, and death.

    Ken Kikuchi, a professor of infectious diseases at Tokyo Women’s Medical University, said: “Most deaths occur within 48 hours”.

    Kikuchi stressed that given Japan’s current infection rate, the number of cases could reach 2,500 this year, and the death rate would be an ‘alarming’ 30%.

    Prof. Kikuchi urged the public to maintain strict hand hygiene and treat open wounds on the body immediately.

    According to the Bloomberg report, apart from Japan, the disease has spread to several other countries.

    By the end of 2022, at least five European countries have reported to the World Health Organization that this bacterium in the invasive category is widespread.

    The World Health Organization says that there has been an increase in these patients after the end of the Covid restrictions.

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