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How Common is GBS Disease in Newborns?




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This article is from the Group B Strep FAQ, by cheryls@wco.com (Cheryl Sandberg) with numerous contributions by others.

How Common is GBS Disease in Newborns?

Approximately 8,000 babies in the U.S. contract serious GBS disease each
year. Up to 800 of these babies may die from it and up to 20% of the babies
who survive GBS-related meningitis are left permanently handicapped.

In newborns, GBS is the most common cause of sepsis (infection of the
blood) and meningitis (infection of the fluid and lining surrounding the
brain) and is a frequent cause of newborn pneumonia. GBS disease is more
common than other, better known, newborn problems such as rubella,
congenital syphilis, and spina bifida. Some babies that survive, especially
those who develop meningitis, may develop tong-term medical problems,
including hearing or vision loss, varying degrees of physical and learning
disabilities, and cerebral palsy.

 

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