A mysterious and worrying spread. A rare but dangerous bacterial infection is spreading at a record rate in Japan, our colleagues from the British daily The Guardian reported. And authorities are struggling to identify the cause of these record levels.

It is the abnormally high number of cases of streptococcal infections that has alerted the Japanese authorities, who are particularly monitoring the most serious and fatal form of these group A streptococcal infections (GAS), staphylococcal toxic shock syndrome (SCTS). . 378 cases have already been recorded at this stage of 2024, compared to 941 over the whole of last year.

“There are still many unknown factors regarding the mechanisms behind fulminant (severe and sudden) forms of strep, and we are not at the stage where we can explain them,” said the National Institute of Diseases infectious diseases (NIAID).

Experts believe that the increase in cases last year could be linked to the lifting of restrictions imposed during the coronavirus pandemic, the British daily further reports. Because like Covid-19, streptococcal infections are spread by droplets and physical contact. The bacteria can also infect patients through wounds on the hands and feet.

This illness causes sore throat and cold-like symptoms. In more severe cases, it can cause strep throat, tonsillitis, pneumonia and meningitis. If its mortality rate is estimated at around 10% for all pathologies combined, it rises to 30% when it causes staphylococcal toxic shock syndrome (SCTS), precisely also our colleagues from Le Parisien.