This month, Thomson & Bancks are increasing awareness about Streptococcus B. Lucy Sherry explains the types of Streptococcal infections and their symptoms.
Streptococcal infections are divided into two key groups:
This post focuses on the more common Beta Group. This includes Group A and Group B Streptococci, which are normally treated with antibiotics, prescribed by your GP.
Strep A are, bacteria, often found on the surface of the skin and inside the throat. It is transmitted by droplets, when an infected person sneezes, coughs or exhales.
Examples of Strep A include:
In rare cases, Strep A bacteria can penetrate deeper inside the tissues and organs of the body. This is known as an invasive infection and is common in compromised immune systems, or of babies or the elderly. Examples include:
By comparison, Strep B bacteria usually live harmlessly inside the digestive system and in the vagina. It can cause infections of the urinary tract, bone, blood or skin and increases chances of developing pneumonia.
Strep B infection during pregnancy can cause miscarriage or stillbirth, but this is rare. It is estimated that around one in every four pregnant women have Strep B bacteria in their vagina or digestive system. Occasionally the bacteria is passed onto the baby through the amniotic fluid or as the baby moves through the birth canal, during labour.
While most babies exposed to Strep B are unaffected, around 1 in 2,000 are at risk of infection. Successful treatment with IV antibiotics will usually enable a full recovery. However, there is the chance they could die due to complications, such as meningitis. Babies who survive are sometimes left with permanent problems, such as hearing or vision loss and memory problems.
Delayed diagnosis of sepsis often kills the elderly and harms babies, suffering with Strep B in Hospital. As an expert in medical negligence, I appreciate that my clients generally only want to receive an apology, and reassurance that the same terrible mistakes will not be made again. Unfortunately, disabled children often require expensive equipment and rehabilitation which the parents cannot afford, and this is where I would offer legal advice and represent them.
For more information on the Strepoccocal infections, visit –http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/streptococcal-infections/pages/introduction.aspx
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