People at Increased Risk
Anyone can get group B strep (GBS) disease, but some people are at greater risk than others. Being a certain age or having certain medical conditions can put you at increased risk for GBS disease.
GBS disease is most common in newborns. There are factors that can increase a pregnant woman’s risk of having a baby who will develop GBS disease, including:
- Testing positive for GBS bacteria late in pregnancy
- Developing a fever during labor
- Having 18 hours or more pass between when their water breaks and when their baby is born
About 1 in every 4 pregnant women carry GBS bacteria in their body.
In adults, most cases of GBS disease are among those who have other medical conditions. Other medical conditions that put adults at increased risk include:
- Heart disease
- Congestive heart failure
- Cancer or history of cancer
Risk for serious GBS disease increases as people get older. Adults 65 years or older are at increased risk compared to adults younger than 65 years old.