By continuing to use the site you agree to our Privacy & Cookies policy

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


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.


Group B Streptococcus rates in NI infants spark screening calls

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.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment.

Related Jobs

Sign in to see the latest jobs relevant to you!