Mum Laura writes, “My first little boy Charlie took ill (a temperature and unsettled more than normal) at three months to the day, so the doctor sent us straight to A+E.
The doctors didn’t think it was late-onset group B Strep infection, as it would have showed up signs long before this, but after urine, blood tests and a lumbar puncture, they found out the cause of the infection. It was heart-breaking to see my little boy so ill. The doctors and nurses were all amazing.
Charlie was on antibiotics for two years until he was potty trained. Google was the worst thing we could have done as it says babies under three months untreated can die. Since Charlie had an umbilical infection when he was first born the antibiotics had helped cover the GBS infection 1. This set me off on an emotional rollercoaster, not knowing what would come next with our precious little boy.
Fast forward almost five years and we had a beautiful baby girl Gracie who had the antibiotics to protect her from early-onset GBS infection, as I’m a carrier of GBS.
Then at five weeks old she took ill (a temperature) the doctors didn’t think it could be GBS as she had antibiotics 1, but they took urine, bloods and a lumbar puncture and it came back GBS positive. After a week in hospital, we finally got to take her home with her daily antibiotic and she is doing great.
Myself and my husband were able to handle it all a lot better, as we had been through it before we had lots more information about GBS which I think is a very important thing for all pregnant women. My hope is to raise more awareness about this and help women and babies.”
*Below picture shows Charlie left and Gracie on right.
1 Babies can be exposed to GBS from a variety of sources after birth, including from Mum or from other people. Most babies will not develop late-onset GBS infection, though a relatively small number will, and the infection may be severe. Testing for group B Strep during pregnancy and having intravenous antibiotics during labour will prevent most cases of early-onset group B Strep infection, but have not been shown to reduce late-onset GBS infection. There are no known ways of preventing late-onset GBS infections (although one day a vaccine should do this), so speedy identification of the signs of these infections and urgent escalation are vital for early diagnosis and treatment. A vaccine is in development but will take many years before being available.