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.

Talk to your doctor or midwife to learn more and find out if you are at risk of having a newborn who will develop GBS disease. Learn how you can help protect your newborn from getting GBS disease.


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:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Cancer or history of cancer
  • Obesity

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.