The rate of group B Strep infections in babies aged 0-6 days rose again in 2015.
The rate of ‘early-onset’ group B Strep infections is now 19% higher than it was when the UK first introduced a prevention strategy against these infections developing in newborn babies.
The rise numbers of babies diagnosed with group B Strep infection are shocking – there were 140 more sick babies reported in 2015 than in 2003. 86 more babies were reported with early-onset group B Strep infection, and 54 more babies with late-onset group B Strep infection.
The graph above (presenting voluntarily reported data for England, Wales & Northern Ireland) shows that, after initially falling, the rate of early-onset group B Strep had risen to 0.44 cases per 1,000 live births in 2015, 19% higher than in 2003 (0.37).
The rate of late-onset group B Strep infection (developing in babies aged 7-90 days) rose from 0.18 per 1,000 live births in 2003, to 0.22 per 1,000 live births in 2015. The numbers have risen more steeply – there were 54 more babies diagnosed with late-onset group B Strep infection in 2015 than in 2003. Read more at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pyogenic-and-non-pyogenic-streptococcal-bacteraemia-annual-data-from-voluntary-surveillance.
By contrast, the US rate for early-onset group B Strep infection for 2014 was 0.24 per 1,000 live births, was 54% lower than that reported to Public Health England for England Wales & Northern Ireland for 2015.
As we have said before, the UK prevention strategy is not working – we need better for our babies.Link to online data series from Public Health England