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Can GBS be passed to the baby?

If a pregnant woman has the bacteria in her body, she can pass them to her baby during labor and delivery. Most babies who get GBS disease in the first week of life (early-onset disease) get it this way. It can be hard to figure out how babies got the bacteria if they get sick later (late-onset disease).

What is GBS and how common is it?

This bacteria is normally found in the vagina and/or rectum of about 25% of all healthy, adult women. Women who test positive for GBS are said to be colonized. A mother can pass GBS to her baby during delivery. GBS affects about 1 in every 2,000 babies in the United States .

How common is GBS disease during pregnancy?

GBS disease is most common in newborns. There are factors that can increase a pregnant woman’s risk of having a baby who will develop GBS disease, including: Testing positive for GBS bacteria late in pregnancy Developing a fever during labor

What happens if a pregnant woman is colonized with GBS?

When a pregnant woman is found to be colonized by GBS, as detected on lab tests, the risk goes up that she might pass the bacteria onto her baby. Most healthy babies will just develop their own colonization of the skin and gut as a result of contact with the mother’s vaginal flora, however,...

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