Protect your kids--July is Group B Strep Awareness Month

The first few months of life are precious and from the time they are born, we're always looking for ways to protect our children from devastating illness.

July is Group B Strep Awareness Month.

GBS is easily treated but the key is catching it in time.

We take a closer look at GBS in pregnant women and newborns- so you can be always aware.

"Babies that are born with it usually show signs of infection," says Dr. Guhan Rammohan, St. Luke's Hospital.

Could be a fever or a baby who isn't eating.
>>DR: 39:15
"Just any signs that things aren't going well within the first few days of life but up to three months, they're at risk for developing an infection- due to this specific bacteria- group B strep," says Dr. Rammohan.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say about 1 in 4 pregnant women carry GBS -- Group B Strep It's a bacteria that is the leading cause of sepsis and meningitis in newborns.

"Babies that are born with it are usually showing signs of infection- the most dangerous infection would be meningitis," Dr. Rammohan added.

The CDC says GBS can cause miscarriages, stillborn or premature babies.

But just because you have the bacteria doesn't mean its going to necessarily cause an infection in your body. So ob-gyns routinely test for GBS and treat it.

"If's its caught early and treated with antibiotics there shouldn't be any long term kind of consequences," Dr. Rammohan says.

Doctors say catching and treating GBS early is key to curing it.

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