The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has issued a warning as cases of a rare-yet-severe type of bacterial infection have exceeded more than half of last year’s count — 88 in the capital — along with 517 infections nationwide.

Concerns over the spread of streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS), often dubbed the “flesh-eating disease,” have reportedly prompted North Korea to cancel a rare soccer match with Japan that was to take place in Pyongyang.

In serious cases, STSS — most often caused by the bacteria called group A streptococcus — can cause necrosis of the connective tissues that covers muscles, and had a mortality rate of around 30% of the infected individuals in 2023, which is “an extremely high fatality rate,” according to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.