Know the Symptoms of Group B Strep

July is International Group B Strep Throat Awareness Month. Approximately 1 in 4 pregnant women carries GBS, the leading cause of sepsis and meningitis in newborns (CDC). GBS can also infect babies during pregnancy and the first few months of life.

Not all babies exposed become infected but, for those who do, the results can be devastating. It can cause miscarriage, stillborn, premature birth, extreme illness, lifelong handicaps, or death. Even babies born to mothers testing negative can become infected by Group B Strep.

Recognize the Symptoms of GBS

Symptoms of Infection During Pregnancy

Contact your care provider immediately if you experience either:

  • Decreased or no fetal movement after your 20th week
  • You have any unexplained fever

Symptoms Once Born

Call your baby’s care provider immediately or go to the emergency room if you find any of these signs:

Sounds

  • High-pitched cry, shrill moaning, whimpering
  • Inconsolable crying
  • Constant grunting as if constipated

Breathing

  • Fast, slow, or difficult breathing

Appearance of Skin

  • Blue, gray, or pale skin due to lack of oxygen
  • Blotchy or red skin
  • Tense or bulgy spot on top of head (fontanel)
  • Infection (pus and/or red skin) at the base of umbilical cord

Eating and Sleeping Habits

  • Feeds poorly, refuses to eat, not waking for feedings
  • Sleeping too much, difficulty being woken

Behavior

  • Irritability
  • Projectile vomiting
  • Reacting as if skin is tender to touch
  • Listless, floppy, or not moving arms or legs
  • Blank stare
  • Body stiffening, uncontrollable jerking

Body Temperature

  • Fever or low or unstable temperature
  • Hands and feet may still feel cold even with a fever

For more information about GBS symptoms and support, visit groupbstrepinternational.org.

ARCPOINT LABS OF KANSAS CITY PROVIDES WELLNESS TESTING FOR INDIVIDUALS, INCLUDING SCREENING FOR MOST MAJOR HEALTH RISKS. THERE ARE NO DOCTOR’S ORDERS, APPOINTMENTS, OR INSURANCE NEEDED TO VISIT OUR FACILITY FOR ACCURATE LAB TESTING.

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