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Group B Strep
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Group B strep infection is a condition caused by bacteria called group B streptococcus (GBS). GBS are normally found in the digestive organs or vagina. A person may carry GBS and not get infected and become sick. GBS live inside the body, along with many other bacteria that are harmless to most people. GBS rarely cause serious problems in adults, but can be life-threatening to babies.
- GBS are not easily passed to other adults. Babies can get infected during, or shortly after birth. Your baby may also become sick if he had contact with a person infected with GBS. Among adults, GBS infection usually affects pregnant women and the elderly. GBS infection may cause preterm delivery, stillbirth, or infections of the womb or bladder in pregnant women. GBS usually also affects adults with other diseases, such as diabetes or cancer. GBS may cause infections in the blood, lungs, or skin.
- Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight an infection caused by bacteria. Give your child this medicine exactly as ordered by his healthcare provider. Do not stop giving your child the antibiotics unless directed by his 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.
- Do not give aspirin to children under 18 years of age. Your child could develop Reye syndrome if he takes aspirin. Reye syndrome can cause life-threatening brain and liver damage. Check your child's medicine labels for aspirin, salicylates, or oil of wintergreen.
- Give your child's medicine as directed. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him or her if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your baby's pediatrician as directed:
Group B strep infections, such as meningitis, may cause hearing and learning problems. Your baby should be carefully monitored by his pediatrician. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your child's visits.
How to care for your baby at home:
- 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 they go 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.
For more information:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta , GA 30333
Phone: 1- 800 - 232-4636
Web Address: http://www.cdc.gov/
Contact your baby's pediatrician if:
- Your baby is eating poorly.
- Your baby's skin has swelling or a rash.
- You have questions or concerns about your baby's condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- Your baby has a fever.
- Your baby has a seizure.
- 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 often.
- Your baby's symptoms get worse or return.
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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.