Raising awareness of a potentially fatal condition

WH 130115 Tania Holmes's first baby, Blake, died of a bacterial infection called group B Strep in 2009. She's since had another son called Bailey, now 1, and she's campaigning to raise awareness. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150113-122620001
WH 130115 Tania Holmes's first baby, Blake, died of a bacterial infection called group B Strep in 2009. She's since had another son called Bailey, now 1, and she's campaigning to raise awareness. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150113-122620001
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A MUM who lost her son to an infection just hours after he was born is holding two events to raise awareness of the condition.

Tania Holmes will set up information points in Worthing town centre on Wednesday, July 15, and Sunday, July 19, to spread the word about Group B Strep.

Tania, who is mum to one-year-old Bailey, lost her first son Blake to the condition in 2009 after doctors failed to recognise she had the easily-preventable bacterial infection.

She said: “The Group B Strep Support charity holds an awareness month every July, and I thought it would be a good idea to do something to help. I’m just hoping to let people know what the condition is, and the need to get a swab test for the condition during pregnancy made routine.”

Group B Streptococcus is the UK’s most common cause of life-threatening infection in newborn babies and of meningitis in babies up to the age of three months. It is a normally-occurring bacterium which is found in many men and women. For most, it is harmless, but if it is passed from mother to baby, it can cause long-term health problems or even be fatal.

A swab can be carried out late during a woman’s pregnancy to find out if she is a carrier. If she is, it would not necessarily mean she would pass the infection to her baby, but she would be given antibiotics at the onset of labour as a preventative measure.

Tania will be by the bandstand on July 15 from 8.30am to 4pm and in South Street Square on July 19 from 10am to 4pm. To sign a petition to make the swab test routine, see www.gbss.org.uk

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