late onset group b strep info

Information on all things Early Onset and Late Onset Group B Strep can be found at the Group B Strep International site. Printable sign/symptom cards can be found HERE.
Late Onset Group B Strep affects approximately 1 out of every 20,000 babies from age 7 days to about 3 months.  Eighty percent (80%) occur in the first 2 months. 5% of those babies will die (approximately 65 per year).
With the advent of Early Onset GBS prevention measures, the rate of LOGBS has remained unchanged.
A baby can become colonized from their environment or caregivers (50%) or some can become colonized from their mother during delivery (50%).  Some become infected when bacteria produces toxins or destroys cells.  Some become colonized and never get sick.
Usually Serotype III is the cause of LOGBS.
Babies most at risk have the following factors:

  • Premature (<36 weeks) or very low birth weight
  • Have intravascular plastic catheters or Ivs
  • Have had unnecessary antibiotics (may select for resistant strains)
  • Hospitalized for a prolonged period of time
  • Exposed to contaminated equipment
  • Meconium staining (suggests heavy maternal colonization)
  • Lack of IgG antibodies

Symptoms usually present as:

  • Sepsis (blood infection)
  • Pneumonia (lung infection)
  • Meningitis (infection of the fluid/membranes around the brain and spinal column)
  • Osteomyelitis (bone infection)
  • Septic Arthritis (joint infection)

Signs that your baby may be sick:

  • Grunting
  • Pale/gray skin
  • Fever (usually short)
  • Stops feeding
  • Throwing up
  • Impaired consciousness
  • Listless or floppy body

Meningitis-specific signs:

  • High pitched cry
  • Shrill moaning or whimpering
  • Fever (cold hands & feet)
  • Refuses to eat
  • Dislikes being held
  • Throwing up
  • Tense or bulgy soft spot
  • Body stiffening or jerking (seizures)
  • Floppy body
  • Blank stare or trance
  • Sleeping too much
  • Fast or slow breathing
  • Pale, blotchy skin

Long Term Effects can include:

  • DEATH (5%)
  • Lasting neurologic damage (30%)
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Sight and hearing loss
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Developmental delays (26%)

Ways to prevent LOGBS:

  • Correct handwashing!
  • Don’t have long nails or artificial nails
  • Don’t wear jewelry or keep it VERY clean
  • Breastfeed
  • Know the symptoms and act on them quickly


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