Hollyoaks storyline reflects the experience countless families experience, as baby Faith develops a late-onset group B Strep infection.
- Hollyoaks character newborn baby Faith Hudson-Blake developed a late-onset group B Strep infection while still in hospital.
- The narrative mirrors real stories happening across the UK, with around 300 babies a year developing a late-onset group B Strep infection. These most often show as meningitis or sepsis.
- Late-onset group B Strep infection cannot yet be prevented but is usually treatable, so speedy identification of the signs of these infections is vital for early diagnosis and treatment.
Hollyoaks character baby Faith Hudson-Blake, the adoptive daughter of Sienna Blake and the biological daughter of Liberty Savage and Brody Hudson developed a late-onset group B Strep infection while in hospital.
What is group B Strep?
Group B Streptococcus (Strep B) is a type of bacteria which lives in the intestines, rectum and vagina or around 2-4 in every 10 women in the UK (20-40%). This is often known as carrying or being colonised with GBS.
How does group B Strep affect babies?
If a pregnant woman is carrying group B Strep, there is a small chance her baby will develop a group B Strep infection at or shortly after birth.
There are two types of group B Strep infection – early-onset and late-onset infection.
If a baby develops a GBS infection in the first 6 days of life, this is known as early-onset group B Strep infection. These infections can often be prevented if a pregnant woman has intravenous antibiotics in labour if she knows she is carrying group B Strep.
Babies can also develop a GBS infection later on, between 6 days old and three months old. This is known as late-onset group B Strep infection. These infections are not currently preventable, so speedy identification of the signs of these infections is vital for early diagnosis and treatment.
Jane Plumb MBE, Chief Executive of Group B Strep Support, comments
“Stories like Faith’s are all too familiar, and sadly not all babies make such a good and quick recovery as Faith has. Families have their lives ripped apart by group B Strep, which is the most common cause of meningitis in children under 5. Better awareness and knowledge of the signs of infection could save lives.
We welcome Hollyoaks’ mention of group B Strep, and to raise the profile of an infection that is under-recognised.”