SymptomsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Most babies born to women carrying group B strep are healthy. But the few who are infected by group B strep during labor can become critically ill.
In infants, illness caused by group B strep can take two forms: early-onset or late-onset.
Early-onset group B strep disease. This is the more common and serious form of group B strep disease in infants. A baby with early-onset group B strep disease typically becomes sick within 12 hours after birth. Signs and symptoms may include:
- Difficulty feeding
Late-onset group B strep disease. Late-onset group B strep disease develops within a week to a few months after birth. Signs and symptoms may include:
- Coughing and congestion, as with a cold
- Difficulty feeding
If you're like many adults, you may carry group B strep in your body, usually in your bowel, vagina, rectum, bladder or throat. Most adults simply carry the bacterium and have no signs or symptoms.
In some cases, group B strep may cause a urinary tract infection or other more serious infections such as blood infections (bacteremia) or pneumonia.
When to see a doctor
As an adult, if you experience any signs or symptoms of group B strep infection — particularly if you're pregnant, you have a chronic medical condition or you're older than 65 — contact your doctor right away.
If you notice your infant has any of the signs or symptoms of group B strep disease, tell your baby's doctor immediately.
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