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Group B Strep
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- Group B strep infection is a condition caused by a bacteria (germ) called Group B streptococcus (GBS). GBS may normally live inside the body and does not cause harm. It rarely causes problems in adults, except in pregnant women, elderly, and those with other diseases, such as diabetes. Babies can get infected during, or shortly after birth. Babies with GBS infection may have sepsis (blood infection), pneumonia, or meningitis (infection of the membranes around the brain). They may eat or drink poorly, vomit (throw up), get easily irritated, drowsy, or hard to wake up.
- Blood tests, lumbar puncture, or chest x-ray may help diagnose GBS infection. Antibiotic medicines may be given to treat the infection. The risk of newborn babies getting GBS infection may be decreased during pregnancy. Mothers may have screening tests during the 35th to 37th weeks of pregnancy and receive antibiotics during labor. With treatment, including antibiotic medicines, your child may make a complete recovery.
- Keep a current list of your child's medicines: Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list and the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists. Give vitamins, herbs, or food supplements only as directed.
- Give your child's medicine as directed: Call your child's primary healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if your child is allergic to any medicine. Ask before you change or stop giving your child his medicines.
- Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight an infection caused by bacteria. Give your child this medicine exactly as ordered by his primary healthcare provider. Do not stop giving your child the antibiotics unless directed by his primary healthcare provider. Never save antibiotics or give your child leftover antibiotics that were given to him for another illness.
- Ibuprofen or acetaminophen: These medicines are given to decrease your child's pain and fever. They can be bought without a doctor's order. Ask how much medicine is safe to give your child, and how often to give it.
Ask for more information about where and when to take your child for follow-up visits:
For continuing care, treatments, or home services for your child, ask for information.Group B strep infections, such as meningitis, may cause hearing and learning problems. Your baby should be carefully followed by his caregiver.
- Wash your hands and your child's hands often. This will help prevent the spread of germs. Encourage everyone in your house to wash their hands with soap and water after going to the bathroom. Also wash hands after changing diapers and before preparing or eating food.
- Rest: Your baby should rest as much as possible and get plenty of sleep. Have your baby rest in a dark, quiet room if he still turns away from bright lights.
CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:
- Your baby is eating or drinking poorly.
- Your baby's skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
- You have any questions or concerns about your baby 's infection, medicine, or care.
SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:
- Your child has a fever.
- Your baby has a seizure (convulsion).
- Your baby has a tense or bulging soft spot on the top of the head.
- Your baby has trouble breathing and a very fast or slow heartbeat.
- Your baby is drowsy or more sleepy than usual.
- Your baby is vomiting (throwing up) too often.
- Your baby 's symptoms are getting worse or coming back.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.