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All pregnant women should be routinely screened for Group B streptococcus, a major cause of illness and death among newborns.
Group B streptococcus (GBS), or "strep," can cause serious infections, such as meningitis, in newborns. Infants can become infected with the bacterium during labor and delivery, so pregnant women are screened for GBS during the last few weeks of pregnancy. Women infected with strep may be treated with antibiotics to reduce the risk of passing on the infection.