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Group B Strep


A GBS infection is a condition caused by bacteria called group B streptococcus. GBS are normally found in the digestive organs or vagina. A person may carry GBS and not get infected and become sick. GBS may cause infections in the blood, lungs, or skin. GBS rarely cause serious problems in adults, but can be life-threatening to babies. An infection may cause preterm delivery, stillbirth, or an infection in the mother's womb or bladder.


Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

  • Your baby has a seizure.
  • Your baby has trouble breathing and a very fast or slow heartbeat.

Call your baby's pediatrician if:

  • Your baby is drowsy or more sleepy than usual.
  • Your baby is vomiting often.
  • Your baby's symptoms get worse or return.
  • Your baby has a tense or bulging soft spot on the top of the head.
  • Your baby has a fever.
  • 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.


Your baby may need any of the following:

  • Antibiotics help fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
  • Ibuprofen or acetaminophen decrease pain and fever. They are available without a prescription. 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.

How to care for your baby at home:

  • Wash your 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.
  • Have your baby 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 or she 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:

Follow up with your baby's pediatrician as directed:

Your baby may develop hearing or learning problems. He or she should be carefully monitored by his or her pediatrician. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2021 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

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.

Learn more about Group B Strep (Discharge Care)

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.