TV: Record level of “flesh-eating bacteria” cases in Japan — Spike began around 2011 Fukushima disaster — Now at 400% normal rate — US Gov’t: Radiation from nuclear accident greatly reduces ability to fight this infection — Officials: We don’t know what’s triggering it; Seek immediate help if symptoms develop (PHOTOS & VIDEO)
Published: January 6th, 2015 at 3:01 am ET
Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 24, 2014 (emphasis added): Patients with ‘flesh-eating bacteria’ hit record — A record high 263 patients are suffering from streptococcal toxic shock-like syndrome (STSS), a deadly infection… National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) is calling on people to visit a doctor… immediately after a possible STSS symptom is detected, such as a severe sore throat… [A] maximum of 100 patients suffered from the disease annually until 2010… This year, that number reached 263 as of Dec. 14, topping the previous worst record of 242 in 2012… Tokyo ranked first with 41… The infection is mainly caused by Group A Streptococcus… but details remain unclear. It is unknown what triggers the disease… The condition may lead to a state of shock, multiple organ failure and other results in a few days… It is also called “flesh-eating bacteria” [affecting] tissues such as on limbs and the face… NIID official said [to] “seek immediate treatment… should STSS symptoms appear.”
New studies by scientists from Fukushima Institute of Public Health and others:
Increased prevalence of group A streptococcus isolates in streptococcal toxic shock syndrome cases in Japan from 2010 to 2012, published 2014: Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS) is a severe invasive infection characterized by the sudden onset of shock, multi-organ failure, and high mortality… STSS is mainly caused by group A streptococcus (GAS). Although an average of 60–70 cases of GAS-induced STSS are reported annually, 143 cases were recorded in 2011. [We examine] the reason behind this marked increase… mefA-positive emm1 isolates has escalated since 2011.
Evaluation of streptococcal toxic shock-like syndrome caused by group B streptococcus [GBS] in adults in Japan between 2009 and 2013, published 2014: In recent years, [Streptococcus infection] is an important cause of morbidity and mortality among adults… disease similar to streptococcal toxic shock syndrome have recently been reported… underlying disease was present in 47.4% of the patients.
US Dept. of Defense, 2012: (Photo – “Crew member is checked for radiation [in] Japan… March 2011″); Ch. 5 – Therapy for Bacterial Infections following Ionizing Radiation Injury… [C]oncerns about nuclear disasters have… shifted to emphasize the low-dose acute and low-dose–rate chronic irradiation scenarios of nuclear accidents… nonlethal doses of ionizing radiation enhance susceptibility to exogenous bacterial infections… The predominant bacteria isolated from wounds included… b-hemolytic [and] a-hemolytic Streptococcus… [I]mmune responses are greatly diminished within a few days after irradiation… individuals should be monitored continually for… symptoms of infection [which] are difficult to treat effectively in those who receive whole-body ionizing radiation.
Al Jazeera: What does Polonium do to a person?… An amount equivalent to the size of a particle of dust is lethal. After being taken into the body… it bombards people’s cells with millions of radioactive alpha particles [and] damages the intestines, causing toxic shock syndrome.
Dr. Nick Priest, toxicology professor at Middlesex Univ.: If polonium is ingested [it] will travel through the gut… Destruction of the inner gut wall will lead to… toxic shock syndrome.