Group B Streptococcus (group B Strep or GBS) is a bacterium found in around 20-25% of people – a part of normal flora of the gut and genital tract. Although usually harmless, it can be passed from mother to her baby around birth. The large majority of babies do not develop group B Strep infection, but for those who do, it can be life-threatening.
Group B Strep is the UK’s most common cause of severe bacterial infection in newborn babies, and of meningitis in babies under 3 months – yet it is usually easily preventable. Finding out whether a Mum is carrying group B Strep late in pregnancy is safe and easy, as is good preventative medicine (antibiotics in labour). We need to be doing more in the UK.
A petition to the UK Government, created by Lindsey Nunn, closes on 19 February 2015 – please read, sign & share it: all British citizens and UK residents with email addresses can sign. Click here.
Links to Key Information:
- What is group B Strep?
- Our medical panel’s key recommendations for better prevention of group B Strep infection in newborn babies
- Current UK guidelines on group B Strep
- The pros and cons of different preventative strategies
GlobalGiving Campaign – please make a donation to help us improve awareness and knowledge among health professionals, including midwives, obstetricians and GPs.
Our Patron is Dr Chris Steele MBE.
He says: “Every pregnant women should know about group B Strep. Being informed could save her baby’s life.“ Dr Chris is a family GP and resident doctor on ITV’s This Morning. He is renowned for his practical and open approach to airing medical issues in the media.
Hear what Dr Chris has to say about group B Strep by clicking here.