Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Listeriosis

Definition:
Listeriosis is a bacterial infection caused by a Gram-positive, motile bacterium, Listeria monocytogenes,which is often found in soil and is present in most animals. It’s transmitted to humans through contaminated food.

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Healthy people rarely become ill from listeria infection, but the disease can be fatal to unborn babies and newborns. People who have weakened immune systems are also at higher risk of life-threatening complications. Prompt antibiotic treatment can help curb the effects of listeria infection.

Listeria bacteria can survive refrigeration and even freezing. That’s why people who are at higher risk for serious infections should avoid eating the types of food most likely to contain listeria bacteria.

The symptoms of listeriosis usually last 7–10 days. The most common symptoms are fever and muscle aches and vomiting. Nausea and diarrhea are less common symptoms. If the infection spreads to the nervous system it can cause meningitis, an infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms of meningitis are headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions

Symptoms:
If you develop a listeria infection, you may experience:

*Fever
*Muscle aches
*Nausea
*Diarrhea
*Loss of appetite
*Lethargy
*Jaundice
*Vomiting
*Respiratory distress (usually pneumonia)
*Shock
*Skin rash
*Increased pressure inside the skull (due to meningitis) possibly causing suture separation

Symptoms may begin a few days after you’ve eaten contaminated food, but it may take as long as two months before the first signs and symptoms of infection begin.

If the listeria infection spreads to your nervous system, signs and symptoms may include:

*Headache
*Stiff neck
*Confusion or changes in alertness
*Loss of balance
*Convulsions

Symptoms during pregnancy and for newborns ;

During pregnancy, a listeria infection is likely to cause only mild signs and symptoms in the mother. The consequences for the baby, however, may be devastating. The baby may die unexpectedly before birth or experience a life-threatening infection within the first few days after birth.

As in adults, the signs and symptoms of a listeria infection in a newborn can be subtle, but may include:

*Little interest in feeding
*Irritability
*Fever
*Vomiting

Causes:
Listeria bacteria can be found in soil, water and animal feces. Humans typically are infected by consuming:

*Raw vegetables that have been contaminated from the soil or from contaminated manure used as fertilizer

*Infected meat

*Unpasteurized milk or foods made with unpasteurized milk

*Certain processed foods — such as soft cheeses, hot dogs and deli meats that have been contaminated after processing

*Prepacked salads (unless they’re thoroughly washed)

*Pâté made from meat, fish or vegetables

*Blue-veined or mould-ripened cheeses

*Soft-whip ice cream from ice-cream machines

*Precooked poultry and cook-chill meals (unless thoroughly reheated)

*Poor food hygiene and storage practices also increase the risk of someone developing listeriosis

Unborn babies can contract a listeria infection from the mother via the placenta. Breast-feeding is not considered a potential cause of infection.

Risk Factors:
Pregnant women and people who have weak immune systems are at highest risk of contracting a listeria infection.

Pregnant women and their babies
Pregnant women are significantly more susceptible to listeria infections than are other healthy adults. Although a listeria infection may cause only a mild illness in the mother, consequences for the baby may include:


*Miscarriage
*Stillbirth
*Premature birth
*A potentially fatal infection after birth

People who have weak immune systems
This category includes people who:

*Are over 60
*Have AIDS
*Are undergoing chemotherapy
*Have diabetes or kidney disease
*Take high-dose prednisone or certain rheumatoid arthritis drugs
*Take medications to block rejection of a transplanted organ

Complications:
Most listeria infections are so mild they may go unnoticed. However, in some cases, a listeria infection can lead to life-threatening complications — including:

*A generalized blood infection (septicemia)

*Inflammation of the membranes and fluid surrounding the brain (meningitis)

Complications of a listeria infection may be most severe for an unborn baby. Early in pregnancy, a listeria infection may lead to miscarriage. Later in pregnancy, a listeria infection may lead to stillbirth, premature birth or a potentially fatal infection in the baby after birth — even if the mother becomes only mildly ill.

Diagnosis;
In CNS infection cases, L. monocytogenes can often be cultured from the blood, and always cultured from the CSF. There are no reliable serological or stool tests.

Treatment:
Bacteremia should be treated for 2 weeks, meningitis for 3 weeks, and brain abscess for at least 6 weeks. Ampicillin generally is considered antibiotic of choice; gentamicin is added frequently for its synergistic effects.

Prognosis:
Listeriosis in a fetus or infant results in a poor outcome with a high death rate. Healthy older children and adults have a lower death rate.Overall mortality rate is 20–30%; of all pregnancy-related cases, 22% resulted in fetal loss or neonatal death, but mothers usually survive

Prevention:
The main means of prevention is through the promotion of safe handling, cooking and consumption of food. This includes washing raw vegetables and cooking raw food thoroughly, as well as reheating leftover or ready-to-eat foods like hot dogs until steaming hot.

Another aspect of prevention is advising high-risk groups such as pregnant women and immunocompromised patients to avoid unpasteurized pâtés and foods such as soft cheeses like feta, Brie, Camembert cheese, and bleu. Cream cheeses, yogurt, and cottage cheese are considered safe. In the United Kingdom, advice along these lines from the Chief Medical Officer posted in maternity clinics led to a sharp decline in cases of listeriosis in pregnancy in the late 1980s

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/listeriosis.shtml
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001380.htm
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/listeria-infection/DS00963/DSECTION
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Listeriosis

http://abbybatchelder.com/blog/2009/03/02/is-it-safe-to-eat-deli-meats-and-hot-dogs-during-pregnancy/

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News on Health & Science

New mom? Eat right and exercise

 

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The thought, preparation and expense that go into “the great Indian wedding” are unbelievable. Yet barely have the stars faded from the new bride’s eyes than subtle pressure from parents, in-laws, spouse and well-wishers sets in. Everyone wants to hear the “good news” —a baby on the way. People don’t stop to think if the bride is ready for motherhood. And once the mother-to-be has been coddled through the pregnancy and everyone has oohed and aahed over the little bundle of joy, the excitement and interest fades. The new mother finds that she is totally unprepared for the drastic changes in her life after the birth of a baby. No one told her that she might have a baby that refuses to sleep at night or that she would feel and look like an elephant after childbirth.

A weight gain of between 12 to 14kg during pregnancy is normal and healthy. Many women expect all the extra kilos to disappear immediately after delivery. Actually, around 5kg (the weight of the baby and the placenta) will disappear immediately. The rest should disappear gradually within nine months.

Kegel exercise  is very much useful so that the pelvic floor muscles to remain shape & size.

 

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It is very easy to start overeating after childbirth. Visitors arrive laden with delicious tidbits and vociferously advise rest and a high calorie diet to ensure adequate breast milk. In truth, breast-feeding requires only around 750 extra calories. Since brand new moms tend to be sedentary, their caloric intake should be limited to approximately 2,500 calories. Even though many women complain that they continue to “feel like a bloated elephant” after delivery, this is not the correct time to go on a drastic diet. Healthy eating and judicious exercise will ensure a gradual and safe return to pre-pregnancy weight.

Light aerobic exercise or walking can be started around two weeks after delivery, even by a person who did not exercise at all during pregnancy. But it is important not to do too much too soon. A hormone called relaxin, responsible for making the joints loose during pregnancy so that delivery is easy, persists in the body for about six months after delivery. So vigorous exercise should be started only after six months to avoid damaging joints. Walking 15 minutes a day is a good start. Increase the time by 15 minutes every week until you reach an hour. Endorphins released during walking will help to elevate the mood and combat any post partum depression. It will also help to tone the muscles. Exercise does not reduce breast milk production.

Pain in the genital and the caesarian site often comes as a shock. It makes going to the bathroom or even sitting an ordeal. Many are afraid to take medication (with reason) for fear that it might cross over in the breast milk to the newborn baby. Heat or cold applied locally to the area will relieve the pain. You can use an infra red lamp, a hot water bottle, or apply ice. The ice needs to be in a plastic bag or bottle. To prevent infection, always wash the area with water after going to the bathroom.

The skin over the abdomen may show white lines called stretch marks. These may itch. Applying coconut oil for half an hour before a bath helps.

These usually fade over time. If there is a scar (caesarian or episiotomy), it should be left alone until it has healed completely.

The hormones responsible for maintaining the pregnancy drop suddenly after childbirth. This abrupt change can lead to depression, bouts of crying and feelings of inadequacy. These usually last for around two weeks and then subside by themselves. If they last for a month or longer, then postnatal depression may have developed and a physician should be consulted.

The abdominal wall becomes lax during pregnancy. The abdomen itself may appear pendulous. Sits ups with the knees bend and oblique abdominal exercises will help with this. Start with 10 sets twice a day. Aim to reach 50 repetitions morning and evening within four months. You need to continue doing this exercise at least thrice a week.

A few drops of urine may leak out while coughing, sneezing or laughing. It may be difficult to hold the urine for even a limited time if the bladder is full. This is because the pelvic floor muscles become weakened during childbirth, making the sphincters, which control urination, lax. This can occur even if the delivery was by caesarian section.

These humiliating accidents can be tackled by doing “Keegles’s exercises”. Sit on the floor in the namaz position or in the yoga “child’s pose”. Touch the nose to the ground, concentrate on the pelvic muscles and consciously tighten them. Also, try to “stop and start” consciously while passing urine.

New mothers have lost a great deal of blood. The baby needs to be fed frequently so that sleep patterns are disturbed and often inadequate. Tiredness and fatigue are common and normal after childbirth. Try to sleep whenever the baby sleeps. And those colourful iron and calcium supplements need to be continued as long as you are feeding the baby.

Source: The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

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Health Problems & Solutions

Some Health Quaries & Answers

Walking Shoes:

Q: I bought a new sports shoe, even though it was a little tight. The salesperson told me that it would loosen with use. Now I have a pain in the second toe and the nail has become black in colour.

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A: The shoe salesman reinforced a common misconception that a tight shoe will eventually become loose. By the time that occurs though, you may have corns and calluses on your feet. If the shoe is tight, there may not be enough space for the second toe. After wearing the shoe, press down with your finger and see. If the toe is jammed up against the front of the shoe, the nail may be damaged during exercise.

Always buy shoes in the evening as your feet are then slightly swollen from the day’s activity. The shoes should be comfortable the minute you try to walk.

Hepatitis attack

Q: I had jaundice last month. I am worried since my wife is pregnant. Do I need to take any precautions?

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A: Jaundice is a generic term, which means that the yellow pigment (bilirubin) in your blood has increased and is probably being excreted in your urine, discolouring that too. From your letter I think you meant that you had infective viral hepatitis. This too is of several types A, B, E etc. Hepatitis E is dangerous for pregnant women while hepatitis B can be passed on to the baby. You can prevent hepatitis A and B with immunisation. Consult your physician and your wife’s obstetrician so that steps can be taken to safeguard her health and that of your baby.

In mom mode

Q: I delivered a baby three months ago and have not had my periods as yet. When can I expect to start menstruating again?

A: Menstruation can start one and a half months after delivery or be delayed for a year. Mothers who breastfeed their children tend to start menstruation later. However, ovulation can occur even without it. If you do not wish to become pregnant, use contraception regularly even if you are feeding the baby and have not yet had your periods.

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Sugar swings

Q: I have diabetes and am on medication. Sometimes my blood sugar is very low and on other days it is very high. Is there a way to control this?

A: Once you have been diagnosed with diabetes and started medication, it is important that you make a few lifestyle changes. You should not abandon your prescribed diet. You need to avoid fasting even on auspicious days. The tablets will work provided your food intake is regular and according to the diet chart provided by your doctor. You need to exercise for 40 minutes a day to increase your body’s efficiency in reducing blood sugar.

Chew   tobacco?

Q: Is it safer to chew tobacco instead of smoking it?

A: The harmful chemicals in tobacco are released into the mouth when you chew it. In fact, the risk increases when tobacco combines with the acidic lime in paan. It causes cancer of the throat, mouth, esophagus and stomach. Tobacco in any form — chewed, smoked or as snuff — is harmful.

Source: The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

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Ailmemts & Remedies Pediatric

Molar Pregnancy

Definition:
A molar pregnancy is one condition in a range of problems known as trophoblastic disease, where a pregnancy doesn’t grow as it should. It’s sometimes called a hydatiform mole.

There are two different types of molar pregnancy, which differ in how they form and how they need to be treated.

In a normal pregnancy, genetic material from the mother and father combines to form new life. In a molar pregnancy, this process goes wrong. In a complete molar pregnancy, the maternal chromosomes are lost, either at conception or while the egg was forming in the ovary, and only genetic material from the father develops in the cells. In a partial molar pregnancy, there is a set of maternal chromosomes but also two sets of chromosomes from the father (ie, double the normal paternal genetic material).

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The genotype is typically 46,XX (diploid) due to subsequent mitosis of the fertilizing sperm, but can also be 46,XY (diploid).  In contrast, a partial mole occurs when an egg is fertilized by two sperm or by one sperm which reduplicates itself yielding the genotypes of 69,XXY (triploid) or 92,XXXY (quadraploid).

Complete molar pregnancies develop as a mass of rapidly growing cells but without a foetus – it cannot therefore develop into a baby.
……
In a partial molar pregnancy, a foetus may start to develop but because of the imbalance in genetic material, it’s always abnormal and can’t survive beyond the first three months of pregnancy.

A molar pregnancy is often harmless, but if untreated can keep on growing and become invasive, spreading to the organs around it, or even further afield to the lungs, liver or brain. Very rarely, in two to three per cent of cases, it may become malignant. These cancerous types of trophoblastic disease are called choriocarcinoma and placental site trophoblast tumours.

Symptoms:
As the mole grows faster than a normal foetus would, the abdomen may become larger more quickly than would be expected for the dates of the pregnancy. The woman may experience abdominal pain, and also severe nausea and vomiting (hyperemesis).

Bleeding from the vagina is another common warning sign that things are not as they should be. Symptoms similar to pre-eclampsia – high blood pressure, protein in the urine, swelling of the feet and legs – may also occur in the first trimester or early in the second.

Most molar pregnancies are diagnosed at the first ultrasound scan, which shows a mass of cells without the presence of a foetus in a complete molar pregnancy or an abnormal non-viable foetus and placenta in a partial mole.

A woman with a hydatidiform mole often feels pregnant and has symptoms such as morning sickness, probably because the cells of the molar pregnancy produce the pregnancy hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotrophin). This is also the hormone that is used in a pregnancy test, so she may have a positive result. Some women have no pregnancy symptoms (as with many normal pregnancies). — but most molar pregnancies cause specific signs and symptoms, including:

*Dark brown to bright red vaginal bleeding during the first trimester

*Severe nausea and vomiting

*Vaginal passage of grape-like cysts

*Rarely, pelvic pressure or pain

If you experience any signs or symptoms of a molar pregnancy, consult your health care provider. He or she may detect other signs of a molar pregnancy, such as:

*Rapid uterine growth — the uterus is too large for the stage of pregnancy

*High blood pressure

*Preeclampsia — a condition that causes high blood pressure and protein in the urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy

*Ovarian cysts

*Anemia

*Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)

Causes:
A molar pregnancy is caused by an abnormally fertilized egg. Human cells normally contain 23 pairs of chromosomes. One chromosome in each pair comes from the father, the other from the mother. In a complete molar pregnancy, all of the fertilized egg’s chromosomes come from the father. Shortly after fertilization, the chromosomes from the mother’s egg are lost or inactivated and the father’s chromosomes are duplicated. The egg may have had an inactive nucleus or no nucleus.

In a partial or incomplete molar pregnancy, the mother’s chromosomes remain but the father provides two sets of chromosomes. As a result, the embryo has 69 chromosomes, instead of 46. This can happen when the father’s chromosomes are duplicated or if two sperm fertilize a single egg.

It remains unclear why a hydatidiform mole develops. However, there are a number of possible reasons, including defects in the egg, maternal nutritional deficiencies and uterine abnormalities. Women under 20 or over 40 are at higher risk.

Having a diet that’s low in protein, folic acid and carotene also increases the risk of a molar pregnancy. The number of times a women has been pregnant, however, doesn’t influence her risk.

Risk Factors:
Up to an estimated 1 in every 1,000 pregnancies is molar. Various factors are associated with molar pregnancy, including:

*Maternal age. A molar pregnancy is more likely for a woman older than age 35 or younger than age 20.

*Previous molar pregnancy. If you’ve had one molar pregnancy, you’re more likely to have another. The risk of a repeat molar pregnancy is 1 in 100.

*Some ethnic groups. Women of Southeast Asian descent appear to have a higher risk of molar pregnancy.

Diagnosis:
Molar pregnancies usually present with painless vaginal bleeding in the fourth to fifth month of pregnancy. The uterus may be larger than expected, or the ovaries may be enlarged. There may also be more vomiting than would be expected (hyperemesis). Sometimes there is an increase in blood pressure along with protein in the urine. Blood tests will show very high levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).

The diagnosis is strongly suggested by ultrasound (sonogram), but definitive diagnosis requires histopathological examination. On ultrasound, the mole resembles a bunch of grapes (“cluster of grapes” or “honeycombed uterus” or “snow-storm”). There is increased trophoblast proliferation and enlarging of the chorionic villi. Angiogenesis in the trophoblasts is impaired as well.

Sometimes symptoms of hyperthyroidism are seen, due to the extremely high levels of hCG, which can mimic the normal Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).

Treatment :
Once it has been established that a woman is carrying a hydatidiform mole rather than a healthy foetus, suction evacuation is used to remove the pregnancy from the womb. This is curative in about four out of five molar pregnancies.

It’s then important to monitor the woman’s progress and repeatedly measure human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) to be sure that everything settles back down to a normal, non-pregnancy level.

About 15 per cent of women who have had a complete molar pregnancy and 0.5 per cent of those with a partial molar pregnancy will require additional treatment, either because hCG levels hit a plateau or start to rise again, or because of persistent heavy vaginal bleeding.

Further treatment may involve the use of chemotherapy (usually methotrexate combined with folinic acid), especially if there’s any concern about invasive or malignant disease.

Complications:
After a molar pregnancy has been removed, molar tissue may remain and continue to grow. This is called persistent gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD). It occurs in about 10 percent of women after a molar pregnancy — usually after a complete mole rather than a partial mole. One sign of persistent GTD is an HCG level that remains high after the molar pregnancy has been removed. In some cases, an invasive mole penetrates deep into the middle layer of the uterine wall, which causes vaginal bleeding. Persistent GTD can nearly always be successfully treated, most often with chemotherapy. Another treatment option is removal of the uterus (hysterectomy).

Rarely, a cancerous form of GTD known as choriocarcinoma develops and spreads to other organs. Choriocarcinoma is usually successfully treated with multiple cancer drugs.

Prognosis:
More than 80% of hydatidiform moles are benign. The outcome after treatment is usually excellent. Close follow-up is essential. Highly effective means of contraception are recommended to avoid pregnancy for at least 6 to 12 months.

In 10 to 15% of cases, hydatidiform moles may develop into invasive moles. This condition is named persistent trophoblastic disease (PTD). The moles may intrude so far into the uterine wall that hemorrhage or other complications develop. It is for this reason that a post-operative full abdominal and chest x-ray will often be requested.

In 2 to 3% of cases, hydatidiform moles may develop into choriocarcinoma, which is a malignant, rapidly-growing, and metastatic (spreading) form of cancer. Despite these factors which normally indicate a poor prognosis, the rate of cure after treatment with chemotherapy is high.

Over 90% of women with malignant, non-spreading cancer are able to survive and retain their ability to conceive and bear children. In those with metastatic (spreading) cancer, remission remains at 75 to 85%, although their childbearing ability is usually lost.

Prevention:
Following successful treatment, most women can have children if they wish. However, it’s strongly recommended that a woman who has had a molar pregnancy doesn’t become pregnant again for 12 months. Although the likelihood is small, there’s a real risk of malignant disease developing and the increase in pregnancy hormones this would cause can’t be distinguished from those of a real pregnancy. Consequently, good contraception is required, as is regular monitoring by a hospital specialist.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/hydatidiformmole1.shtml
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/molar-pregnancy/DS01155
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydatidiform_mole

http://drugster.info/ail/pathography/375/

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Ailmemts & Remedies

Group B Streptococcus (GBS) Infection

Definition:
Infection with Group B Streptococcus (GBS), also known as ‘Streptococcus agalactiae’ and more colloquially as Strep B and group B Strep, can cause serious illness and sometimes death, especially in newborn infants, the elderly, and patients with compromised immune systems. Group B streptococci are also prominent veterinary pathogens, because they can cause bovine mastitis (inflammation of the udder) in dairy cows. The species name “agalactiae” meaning “no milk”, alludes to this.

Streptococcus is a genus of spherical, Gram-positive bacteria of the phylum Firmicutes. Streptococcus agalactiae is a gram-positive streptococcus characterized by the presence of Group B Lancefield antigen, and so takes the name Group B Streptococcus.

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This type of bacteria (not to be confused with group A strep which causes “strep throat”) is commonly found in the human body, and it usually does not cause any symptoms. However, in certain cases it can be a dangerous cause of various infections that affect pregnant women & their newborns .

Group B streptococcal infections affect one in 2,000 babies born every year in the UK and Ireland. About 340 babies a year will develop group B streptococcal infection within seven days of birth (early group B streptococcus disease).

Causes:
The bacteria is found living harmlessly in the vaginal and gastrointestinal tracts of up to 50 per cent of healthy women (and in many men too). It may be passed on to a baby either while the baby is still in the womb or during delivery. Although about 50 per cent of babies born to mothers carrying group B streptococcus pick up the micro-organism, only about one to two per cent of these newborns then go on to develop severe group B streptococcal disease.

Group B streptococcal sepsis is most likely to develop when the baby is premature or if there has been prolonged rupture of the membranes, with many hours passing before the baby is born, or if the baby has no antibodies to group B streptococci.

In the last 30 years it’s been show to be a cause of serious infection in non-pregnant adults too. It’s extremely rare in healthy people and is almost always associated with underlying problems such as diabetes or cancer, or less often, problems with:

•Heart and blood vessels
•Genitourinary system
•Liver disease
•Kidney disease

About five per cent of affected adults will eventually experience a second episode of group B streptococcal disease.

How is group B strep transmitted?
In newborns, GBS infection is acquired through direct contact with the bacteria while in the uterus or during delivery; thus the infection is transmitted from the colonized mother to her newborn. However, not every baby born to a colonized mother will develop GBS infection. Statistics show that about one of every 100-200 babies born to a GBS-colonized mother will develop GBS infection.

There are maternal risk factors, however, that increase the chance of transmitting the disease to the newborn:

•labor or membrane rupture before 37 weeks
•membrane rupture more than 18 hours before delivery
•urinary tract infection with GBS during pregnancy
•previous baby with GBS infection
•fever during labor
•positive culture for GBS colonization at 35-37 weeks
.
Group B strep infection is not a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

Symptoms :
If a pregnant woman is carrying (or ‘colonised with’) group B streptococcus, there is a chance she could pass it to her unborn baby. Most babies will not be harmed and will simply carry the bacteria themselves, but it can cause:

•Early birth
•Stillbirth
•Late miscarriage and complications
Group B streptococcal disease in newborns is divided into early and late disease. Early group B streptococcal neonatal sepsis appears within 24 hours of delivery (and up to seven days afterwards) and accounts for over 80 per cent of cases. Typically it causes signs of pneumonia (breathing problems) or, less often, meningitis. Most of these babies will make a full recovery.

Late group B streptococcal neonatal sepsis appears between one week and three months after birth, and is more likely to cause meningitis. One in ten infected babies will die of blood poisoning, pneumonia or meningitis, while one in five will be affected permanently by cerebral palsy, blindness, deafness or serious learning difficulties.

Once a baby has reached three months of age, group B streptococcal infection is extremely rare.

In vulnerable adults, group B streptococcus can cause a range of different infections at different sites in the body.

Diagnosis:
In pregnant women, routine screening for colonization with GBS is recommended. This test is generally performed between 35-37 weeks of gestation. The test involves using a swab to collect a sample from both the vaginal and rectal area, and results are usually available within 24-72 hours.

In newborns, GBS infection can be diagnosed with blood tests and/or spinal-fluid analysis. Similar testing may be used to diagnose the disease in adults.

Treatment:
For women who test positive for GBS during pregnancy and for those with certain risk factors for developing or transmitting GBS infection during pregnancy, intravenous antibiotics are generally recommended at the time of labor (before delivery). The administration of antibiotics has been shown to significantly decrease GBS infection in newborns. If a pregnant carrier of GBS receives intravenous antibiotics prior to delivery, her baby has a one in 4,000 chance of developing GBS infection. Without antibiotics, her baby has a one in 200 chance of developing GBS infection.

In adults who develop GBS infection, whether they are pregnant women or individuals with chronic medical conditions, intravenous(IV) antibiotics are also recommended.

At this point in time, the best treatment for GBS infection is prevention through routine screening during pregnancy. This testing has served to decrease the overall number of GBS infections in newborns, and there is currently research underway to develop a GBS vaccine.

Should all at-risk women be treated?
Some women prefer not to receive antibiotics if their risk is only slightly increased. Experts advise that the risk of infection in the baby must be balanced against the wishes and beliefs of the woman in labour and against her risk of an adverse reaction to the antibiotics. If a group B streptococcus carrying woman had a healthy baby in a previous pregnancy, she is unlikely to be at greater risk with following pregnancies.

Scientists are trying to develop a vaccine for group B streptococcus, but technical problems mean that it’s likely to be some years before one is available.

Prevention:
Through collaborative efforts clinicians, researchers, professional organizations, parent advocacy groups, and the public health community developed recommendations for intrapartum prophylaxis to prevent perinatal GBS disease. Many organizations have developed perinatal GBS disease prevention and education programs to reduce the incidence of the disease. Information about the recommendations and the prevention programs can be found in medical journals and on the internet. Simple anti-septic wipes do not prevent mother-to-child transmission

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.medicinenet.com/group_b_strep/article.htm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/group_b_streptococcus_infection.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Group_B_streptococcal_infection
http://www.trying-to-conceive.com/pregnancy/preventing-group-b-strep-%E2%80%93-is-it-possible/
http://www.medicaldaily.com/news/20110211/5422/third-trimester-group-b-streptococcus-test-doesnt-accurately-predict-presence-during-labor.htm

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