Late on set strep B

Hello, I would really like some advice regarding risks of late on set strep b. I am pregnant and tested positive for strep b. My midwife has given information about antibiotics in labour but there seems less information about how to prevent late on set infection. Should I be very cautious about changing bed linen/ towels and could the infection be spread in this way? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

2 Replies

  • Hi Emily,

    GBS infection in babies aged over 6 days is termed ‘late onset’ and comprises up to 25% of all GBS infections in babies, usually as meningitis with septicaemia. It is uncommon after a baby reaches one month old and almost unknown after age three months.

    While appropriate antibiotics in labour can prevent most cases of early onset GBS infection in newborn babies, these do not prevent the less common late onset GBS infections.

    Sadly, until a vaccine is available, there are no known ways of preventing late onset GBS infections although everyone should wash their hands properly and dry them properly before handing a baby under 3 months of age (this is good paediatric practice, not GBS specific).

    As with early-onset GBS infection, the mother carrying GBS late in pregnancy is a recognised risk factor for a baby developing late onset GBS infection and it may be more likely in a baby born prematurely.

    Although late onset GBS infections are not common, it is important to be aware of the potential signs and symptoms and, if your baby shows any of these, please take him/her for an urgent medical review. If you have any history of GBS, mention that at the time. With prompt and appropriate treatment, most babies will make a full recovery from their GBS infection.

    Warning signs of late-onset GBS infection, including meningitis – may include one or more of the following:


    poor feeding and/or vomiting; and

    impaired consciousness.

    Typical symptoms of meningitis in babies, including GBS meningitis (any of these could develop but some may not be present at all) include:

    fever, which may include the hands and feet feeling cold, and/or diarrhoea;

    refusing feeds or vomiting;

    shrill or moaning cry or whimpering;

    dislike of being handled, fretful;

    tense or bulging fontanelle (soft spot on the head);

    involuntary body stiffening or jerking movements;

    floppy body;

    blank, staring or trance-like expression;

    abnormally drowsy, difficult to wake or withdrawn;

    altered breathing patterns;

    turns away from bright lights; and

    pale and/or blotchy skin.

    If a baby shows signs consistent with late-onset GBS infection or meningitis, call your doctor immediately. If your doctor isn’t available, go straight to your nearest Paediatric Casualty or Emergency Department. If a baby has late-onset GBS infection or meningitis, early diagnosis and treatment are vital: delay could be fatal.

    I do hope that helps, if you have any other questions just let us know here, or by calling 01444 416176 or emailing

  • I have got strep b then I was pregnant with my 1 baby and my 2 baby then and to I only come out on my fist baby day got pregnant with my fist baby I have strep b been I get pregnant get this time I have any baby then ok tbx

You may also like...