New Deadly Threat from Japan: Rise of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) in 2024

New Deadly Threat from Japan: Rise of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) in 2024

On June 17, 2024, a new threat emerged from Japan: Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). This rare but severe infection, caused by specific strains of “Staphylococcus aureus” and “Streptococcus pyogenes,” has resulted in 977 cases since early June. With a fatality rate of around thirty percent, this could spark a new global health crisis.

Picture: New York Post

Can you still remember it clearly? About two years ago, the entire world was in turmoil over a potentially devastating virus. The medical community quickly named it Corona. In many countries, citizens had to stay indoors, and shops and restaurants closed. Sports events were halted, both national and European competitions. The streets everywhere seemed deserted after ten in the evening. No one dared to go outside, fearing the severe illness. Hospitals were filled with seriously ill COVID-19 patients.

Should the face masks come out of the closet again?

We all walked outside and in public with face masks on. And of course, this epidemic also had a non-medical, but ethical aspect. Everyone who saw the opportunity began to profit from the trade in various trinkets that might influence the suppression of that annoying virus. Everyone had to stay home, so there was automatically more drinking and eating. Supermarkets made enormous profits, just like many social media platforms did. Think of the various film providers like Videoland, Netflix, and many other companies.

Are we going to relive everything?

Today, June 17, 2024, it was announced through various channels that a new threat is on the rise. The virus in question has been found in Japan. Recently, several highly contagious fatal bacterial infections have been discovered in this country, the origin of which is still uncertain. Since June 2 of this year, 977 cases have already been reported. It is said to be Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), a rare but severe infection caused by certain strains of “Staphylococcus aureus” and “Streptococcus pyogenes.” The media also refer to it as the “tampon disease,” but this illness manifests in various ways, making it not directly comparable.

Is a new world-threatening epidemic emerging?

This bacterium or the resulting illness has a fatality rate of about thirty percent, which is quite high in our current affluent societies. Between January and March of this year, 77 people have already died from this bacterium. 940 infections this year is the highest number of infections since 1999, when counting began. The National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Japan reported 97 deaths from this disease last year, the highest number in the past six years. STSS, as the disease is also known, can occur when there are damages in the deep human tissues or bloodstream.

Are you aware of the dangers of low blood pressure?

Patients who contract this deadly bacterium initially experience high fever and severe muscle pain in their legs and arms. The disease can suddenly become more severe in people who also suffer from low blood pressure. Various organs in the body of infected individuals can become swollen or fail, causing the bodies of these victims to suddenly go into shock. It is already certain that three out of ten people who contract the bacterium will definitely die. The threatening virus starts its journey as the Streptococcus bacterium, which normally causes only mild fever and sore throat in children. In rare circumstances, Streptococcus A can become invasive when the bacterium produces a toxin that gains access to the bloodstream, causing severe diseases like toxic shock.

Is it going to eat our bodies?

Strep A can also cause 'flesh-eating' necrotizing fasciitis, which can lead to limb loss. According to the CDC, most patients who contract this disease have other health problems that normally impair their body's ability to fight infections, such as cancer or diabetes. According to the World Health Organization, the disease is most common and causes the most damage in children under ten years old. The Japanese National Institute for Infectious Diseases has released a risk assessment stating that the number of STSS cases caused by iGAS has “increased since July 2023, especially among those under 50 years old.”

Should we be afraid of more life-threatening diseases?

According to the Japanese public broadcaster NHK, the reason for the increase in STSS cases in Japan this year remains unclear. Professor Ken Kikuchi of the Tokyo Women’s Medical University told NHK that the increase could be due to the weakened immune system of people after COVID. “We can strengthen immunity if we are continuously exposed to bacteria. But that mechanism was absent during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Kikuchi. “So more people are now susceptible to infections, and that could be a reason for the sharp increase in the number of cases.”

Have the healthcare universities and pharmaceutical companies unleashed a time bomb on us?

Every time I open the newspaper in the morning, I read the same things: “The measures taken during the corona epidemic saved us from corona, but because of these measures, we have become much more vulnerable to other viruses and germs.” I also increasingly read that the injections with the various serums against corona could also have adverse effects on older people. Are we still safe in this world? Do the people in our society who are often trained with public funds to care for the "ordinary" people still care for that ordinary population? Has the medical world also fallen into a too-commercial environment that only leads to richer investors and wealth among the educated?