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What is the treatment for group B strep?

For women who test positive for GBS during pregnancy and for those with certain risk factors for developing or transmitting GBS infection during pregnancy, intravenous antibiotics are recommended at the time of labor. The administration of antibiotics to women before labor who are known to be colonized with GBS is not effective in preventing early onset disease, as it has been found that the GBS bacteria can grow back quickly. Pregnant women with GBS isolated from the urine at any time during the pregnancy and those women who have had a previous infant with invasive GBS infection should receive antibiotics during labor, and thereby do not require the routine GBS screening at 35-37 weeks of gestation. Pregnant women who are not aware of their group B strep status should be given antibiotics during labor if they develop preterm labor (less than 37 weeks gestation), if they have membrane rupture for 18 hours or longer, or if they develop fever during labor. Penicillin or ampicillin are the recommended antibiotics, while individuals who are penicillin-allergic may be given either cefazolin, clindamycin, or vancomycin. The administration of antibiotics has been shown to significantly decrease GBS early onset infection in newborns; however, it does not prevent late onset GBS infection. If a pregnant carrier of GBS receives intravenous antibiotics during delivery, her baby has a one in 4,000 chance of developing GBS infection. Without antibiotics, her baby has a one in 200 chance of developing GBS infection.

In neonates and nonpregnant adults who develop invasive group B streptococcal disease, intravenous antibiotics are also the mainstay of treatment. There are certain conditions associated with invasive GBS infection that may require surgical intervention, for example surgical debridement in certain patients with soft tissue/skin/bone infections.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: txGIRL, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 09

When I was tested today to give blood my hematocrit was 54. I've been having problems with it and my hemoglobin being high, doctor advised me to give blood every 8 weeks for polycythemia.

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Comment from: Happy girl, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 03

I have had group B strep (GBS) for a few years now, I believe it started on my skin. I got an itchy rash near my bikini line, which I thought was hot tub folliculitis. It spread to my genitals and soon after I began to have UTI (urinary tract infection) like symptoms. Then I got hemorrhoids, then chest pain. I was tired and weak all the time. Then my joints started to ache. I was bloated. I thought, wow thirties are tough! I finally got insurance after two years of this. I found out it was group B strep causing all of it! I did a round of amoxicillin and it was gone. Six months later it came back! More antibiotics and it has gone again. Two months later back again. I"m on 14 days of Augmentin, it"s supposed to be a little stronger. We"ll see! I hope it works. By the way, I"m a healthy 33 year old with one child. No signs of GBS when I delivered her.

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Comment from: kassy, 0-2 Male (Caregiver) Published: April 12

I tested positive for group b strep and was given the antibiotics during labor, which was induced. My son still contracted it at the age of 3 weeks old. He ran a temp of 104.6 he was in the hospital for 1 1/2 weeks then sent home on an IV for 10 additional days. The doctors never told me how deadly this is for new borns. I'm kind of glad they didn't, I think I would have fallen apart. He has a slight learning disability but overall is healthy and fine. However I wish the doctors would have listened to me from the get and he would not have had to suffer. I kept taking him to the ped center because he was super fussy and would ball up every time he ate. He also would not have bowl movements without me helping by using a thermometer. They kept sending me home telling me that he was colic and lactose. It got to the point that he would not sleep. Cry and cry then he went 9 hours without eating, then finally he broke a fever. So if you are mom and you know something is wrong with your baby and you tested positive for group b and your child is acting like this and in serious pain make the doctors test him or her.

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