Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.


Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Group B Streptococcus rates in NI infants spark screening calls

  • Comment
A charity is calling for screening for group B Streptococcus (GBS) infections among pregnant women in Northern Ireland.

The province has the highest rate of the infection among newborn babies among Wales, England and Northern Ireland.

Figures from the Health Protection Agency published in November show the rate of GBS infections in the first 90 days is 0.77 per 1000 live births, compared with 0.68 per 1000 in England and 0.61 for all three countries combined.

Susan Kyle, supporter of charity Group B Strep Support, said at an information event in the Long Gallery, Stormont: ‘Every mother should have the right to protect her baby from this deadly, but preventable, infection.

'In many countries – Canada, France, Italy, Australia and the USA to name a few, testing for GBS is a routine part of antenatal care. Northern Ireland cannot ignore its high infection rate.’

GBS infections can be life threatening, leading to blood poisoning and meningitis. Screening could prevent up to 80% of infections and tests cost around £32 each, the charity said.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.