Signs and Symptoms

Group B strep (GBS) disease can include many different types of infections. Symptoms depend on the part of the body that is infected. Symptoms of GBS disease are different in newborns compared to people of other ages who get GBS disease.


The symptoms of GBS disease can seem like other health problems in newborns and babies. Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Difficulty feeding
  • Irritability or lethargy (limpness or hard to wake up the baby)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Blue-ish color to skin

Most newborns who get sick in the first week of life have symptoms on the day of birth. In contrast, babies who develop disease later can appear healthy at birth and during their first week of life.

Learn how you can help protect your newborn from getting GBS disease.

Pregnant women who test positive

Some women test positive for GBS bacteria during routine screening towards the end of their pregnancy. Those women usually do not feel sick or have any symptoms.


Symptoms depend on the part of the body that is infected. Listed below are symptoms associated with the most common infections caused by GBS bacteria in adults.

Symptoms of bacteremia (bloodstream infection) and sepsis (the body’s extreme response to an infection) include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Low alertness

Symptoms of pneumonia (lung infection) include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Rapid breathing or difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain

 Skin and soft tissue infections often appear as a bump or infected area on the skin that may be:

  • Red
  • Swollen or painful
  • Warm to the touch
  • Full of pus or other drainage

People with skin infections may also have a fever.

Bone and joint infections often appear as pain in the infected area and might also include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness or inability to use the affected limb or joint