Health Tip: Women Who Have GBS During Pregnancy

It can cause serious complications in some newborns

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(HealthDay News) -- Group B streptococcus (GBS) is a bacterium that is found in as many as 30 percent of pregnant women, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says.

GBS is not sexually transmitted, and although it has a similar name, it is not the bacterium that causes strep throat.

Most babies exposed to the germ don't get sick, but a few develop serious complications. That's why many women are treated with antibiotics during delivery as a precaution.

The ACOG says these women are candidates for precautionary treatment:

  • Women who have had a previous baby infected with GBS.
  • Women who had a urinary tract infection with GBS earlier in the pregnancy.
  • Women who had a positive GBS culture test during the pregnancy.
  • Women whose GBS status is unknown and who deliver at earlier than 37 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Women whose GBS status is unknown and who have a fever during labor.

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