Group B strep (strep B) usually live harmlessly inside the digestive system and inthe vagina.
Strep B can sometimes cause urinary tract infections (UTIs) , skin infections, bone infections, blood infections and pneumonia, particularly in vulnerable people, such as the elderly and those with diabetes.
It's estimated around one in every fourpregnant women have strep B bacteria in their vagina or digestive system.
Thebacteria can sometimes be passed on to the baby through the amniotic fluid (a clear liquid that surrounds and protects the unborn baby in the womb) or as the baby passes through the birth canal during labour.
Mostbabies exposed to strep B will be unaffected, but in around1 in every 2,000 cases they can become infected.
A strep B infectionduring pregnancy can alsocause miscarriage or stillbirth , but this is rare.
As newborn babies have a poorly developed immune system, strep B bacteria can quickly spread through their body, causing serious infections such as meningitis and pneumonia.
The symptoms of a strep B infection in a newborn baby usually develop within the first few hours or days of giving birth, andinclude:
In some cases, a baby canpick upa strep B infection a few weeks or months after birth. It's not known exactly why this happens, but it's notrelated to infection during birth. Symptoms ofa late-onset group B strep infection can includea fever, poor feeding, vomiting and reduced consciousness.
You should seek immediate medical advice if you think your baby may have agroup B strep infection.
It's possible to reduce thechances of a baby becoming infected with strep B by identifying cases where there is a risk of the bacteria being passed from a mother to their child and giving the mother antibiotics directly into a vein (intravenously) during labour.
Known risk factors that may mean you needintravenous antibiotics during labour include:
If your baby develops symptoms of a strep B infection after they're born, they will have tests to confirm the diagnosis and will be givenintravenous antibiotics as soon as possible.
Most babies who become infected can be treated successfully and will make a full recovery, although there is chance they could die as a result of complications such as meningitis. Some babies who survive are left with permanent problems, such as hearing loss , vision loss , and problems with memory and concentration.
Streptococcal infections are any type of infection caused by the Streptococcus ("strep") group of bacteria.
Group A strep (strep A) are often found on the surface of the skin and inside the throat. They are a common cause of infection in adults and children. They can be spread indroplets in the coughs or sn
Group B strep (strep B) usually live harmlessly inside the digestive system and inthe vagina. Strep B can sometimes cause urinary tract infections (UTIs) , skin infections, bone infections, blood infe