DDC warns Thais to be careful of deadly bacterial outbreak in Japan

MONDAY, JUNE 17, 2024

Thais are advised to wear flu masks, and keep their hands clean to protect themselves from potentially fatal STSS infections as cases surge in Japan

The Department of Disease Control (DDC)
has warned Thais visiting Japan to raise their guard and protect themselves against the ongoing streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS) outbreak.

The DDC said the bacterial infection can be picked up by simply touching saliva, mucus or other fluids from infected persons or by touching an infected wound.

The STSS is a rare but serious infection caused by group A streptococcus (strep) bacteria. It can enter the body through a wound or even a sore throat. The bacteria produces toxins that can spread throughout the body and trigger a massive inflammatory response, damaging tissues and potentially leading to organ failure.

DDC warns Thais to be careful of deadly bacterial outbreak in Japan

The DDC said on its website on Monday that Thais visiting Japan should ensure they maintain a safe distance from infected persons. It also advised travellers to wear flu masks at all times and carry alcohol to wash their hands frequently.

They are also advised to check with Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) to see if there is an STSS outbreak in the destinations they are set to visit.

Citing NIID’s 21st Infectious Diseases Weekly Report for May 20 to 26, DDC said 30 people had caught STSS that week and six had died.

As of January 1 to May 26, 690 had reportedly caught STSS in Japan and 163 had succumbed to the disease. According to a June 2 report from Japan’s Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry, the number of STSS cases had risen to 977 as of the end of May.