What is group B streptococcus?

Group B strep is a type of bacteria called ‘streptococcal bacteria’ which is carried by up to 2 in 5 people.  The bacteria is typically found in the rectum or vagina, and is harmless in most cases except for pregnant woman (as the bacteria can spread to the baby) and young babies.

In most cases, even if the mother is carrying GBS, the baby will be unaffected by the bacteria.  There is, however, a small risk that the baby may be made ill by the bacteria passed to them during birth.

If detected in time, babies with GBS go on to make a full recovery.  Delays in treatment can lead to serious side effects.

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