'Selfie' Campaign Launched For Group B Strep Awareness Month

Charity Campaigns For Routine Testing For Expectant Mums


People across the country are marking Group B Strep (GBS) awareness month by showing their support for a ‘selfie’ campaign.

GBS is an infection commonly found in both men and women which is usually harmless. However, if transmitted to a baby during birth, it can lead to life-threatening conditions including meningitis and brain damage, or even death for the newborn.

While many developed countries routinely offer pregnant women testing for GBS, the NHS doesn’t.

The Group B Strep Support Group has long campaigned for routine screening to allow high-risk mothers to be given antibiotics during labour - a proven treatment to prevent the issue.

To highlight GBS Awareness Month, the charity is asking people to snap a Selfie and post it on its Facebook page and across social media, including the hashtag “#GBSaware”.

It is intended to raise awareness of the infection, symptoms and treatment options, as well as promote the sought-after policy for universal GBS screening in pregnant women.

Surveys carried out by the support group have found that large numbers of pregnant women have never heard of the Group B Streptococcus infection.

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise relating to Group B Strep at the links below:

Poor Monitoring and Failure to Treat Infection Left Baby Boy Brain Damaged

Mum Takes Legal Action To Help Her Brain Damaged Son Gain Access To Lifetime Of Care

Expert Opinion
Through our work we see first-hand the devastating impact undiagnosed GBS can have on babies and their families.

“Many newborns are left severely brain damaged due to being starved of oxygen as the infection takes over their bodies, and in some cases it can be fatal.

“A simple swab test can highlight whether an expectant mother is a carrier of the condition which can then ensure the appropriate care plan is put in place to provide intravenous antibiotics throughout labour to prevent the infection being transmitted.

“We hope the GBS awareness month reinforces further the need for testing to be routinely offered to expectant mothers to prevent further unnecessary brain damage in newborns being caused.”
Alison Eddy, Partner