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18th June 2024 (10 Topics)

Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome (STSS)


Health officials in Japan are alarmed by a surge in cases of Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome (STSS), also known as 'flesh-eating bacteria'.

About Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome (STSS):

  • STSS is a severe bacterial infection caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria. These bacteria release toxins that enter deep tissues and the bloodstream, triggering a rapid and dangerous response in the body.
  • Symptoms: STSS begins with symptoms such as fever, chills, muscle aches, nausea, and vomiting.
    • Within 24 to 48 hours, it can progress to low blood pressure, organ failure, rapid heart rate, and fast breathing.
  • Risk Factors and Severity: Group A Streptococcus usually causes strep throat in children but can lead to serious symptoms in adults, including limb pain, swelling, and low blood pressure.
    • This can escalate quickly to tissue death, breathing difficulties, and organ failure, especially in individuals over 50.
  • Prevention: Preventing STSS involves practicing good hygiene, such as regular handwashing and covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing. Proper wound care and prompt medical attention for infections can prevent complications that may lead to STSS.
  • Diagnosis: Blood tests to detect group A strep bacteria and assess organ function.
    • STSS is confirmed when a person has a group A strep infection alongside low blood pressure and signs of two or more organ failures.
  • Treatment: Administering strong antibiotics intravenously to eliminate the bacteria. Patients also receive fluids to stabilize blood pressure and support organ function.

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