Your intestinal tract is home to a variety of bacteria. Don’t be alarmed though since most of the bacteria help aid digestion. In some cases, however, some can be harmful. One such example is Group B Streptococcus (strep).
Group B strep is a common bacterium found in the intestine and the lower genital tract. In general, the strain is harmless to adults. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for newborns. If a pregnant woman has Group B strep during the time of delivery, the bacterium can infect the newborn child. If left undetected, the infection can cause pneumonia or even meningitis.
Group B strep disease can be classified into two types: early-onset and late-onset, depending on when symptoms manifest. Typical symptoms of the disease include fever, breathing difficulties, feeding difficulties, lethargy, and irritability.
To prevent Group B strep disease, have yourself screened for the bacterium during your third trimester. Your doctor will collect a quick sample to verify the bacterium’s presence. If the presence of Group B strep is confirmed, you will be put on antibiotics to keep your child safe.
Unfortunately, there are times when a doctor becomes lax with standard procedures and makes an incorrect diagnosis for Group B strep. As such, be on the lookout for symptoms of Group B strep disease for the first trimester of the newborn’s life. Should symptoms manifest and the disease confirmed, get in touch with a trusted birth injury lawyer.