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The ABC’s of GBS

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Nov 09, 2020 · By Gaylynn Thomas
Group B Streptococcus also known as Group B Strep Infection (GBS) is a type of bacterial infection that can be found in a pregnant woman’s vagina or rectum. This bacterium 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. This infection can cause serious illness (pneumonia, meningitis, blood infection), developmental delay and death.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended routine screening for vaginal strep B for all pregnant women. This screening is performed between the 35th and 37th week of pregnancy.  The test involves a swab of both the vagina and the rectum. The sample is then taken to a lab where a culture is analyzed for any presence of GBS. Test results are generally available within a few days. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all women who have risk factors PRIOR to being screened for GBS are treated with IV antibiotics during labor until their GBS status is established.

If you test positive for GBS, your physician will give you antibiotics through an IV during labor to prevent your baby from becoming ill. Taking antibiotics greatly decreases the chances of your baby developing early-onset group B Strep infection. For women who are group B Strep carriers, antibiotics given before labor begins are not effective at preventing the transmission of the group bacteria.  Therefore, it is important for all pregnant women to be tested for group B Strep between 35 to 37 weeks of every pregnancy.

Ask your OBGYN about group B Strep Testing

Be aware of the risks of group B Strep for you and your baby

Create a dialogue between you and your provider about GBS testing and treatments

 If you need more information about GBS risks and diagnosis, click here

For more information about GBS, visit: https://www.groupbstrepinternational.org/

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Gaylynn Thomas

Gaylynn is Vax-Immune’s Business Strategist. She is a nursing expert and entrepreneur who developed a successful home healthcare business specializing in high-risk related pregnancies. During 16-year tenure, she grew the company to a marketplace leader by providing high quality patient care as well as updated information and thought leadership to the OB/GYN and insurance payor communities in key areas such as upcoming drug therapies, FDA regulation changes and legislative changes related to Obstetrics and women's health. She led the successful acquisition of the company by a reputable, internationally known company, Walgreens/Option Care. She currently provides guidance and leadership to various organizations in both healthcare innovation and the nonprofit sector. Gaylynn is an active Board Member for both March of Dimes, Texas and the Houston Chamber Music Series, Musica Tra Amici.

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