Bridgwater parents urge more people to be aware of Group B Strep after baby daughter almost dies

Parents from Bridgwater are warning of the dangers of group B Strep sepsis after almost losing their baby daughter to the illness.

Autumn Speed was diagnosed with the infection shortly after her birth two years ago, spending the first few hours of her life being kept alive by doctors.

Luckily, Autumn recovered and was able to go home with her family at ten days old.

Autumn's mum, like many other women, didn't know she was carrying the Group B Strep bacteria

Though Autumn made a full recovery and is now living life as a healthy toddler, not all babies with the illness are as lucky.

One baby dies and another is left with lifelong health complications every week in the UK because of Group B Strep bacteria.

It can go on to cause further problems, and is one of the leading causes of pneumonia, sepsis and meningitis in newborns.

Pregnant women are not routinely screened for the bacteria in the UK

The bacteria is carried by 20% - 40% of women in the UK, but the test for it is not routinely offered by the NHS like it is in countries like France and the US.

Autumn's parents say screening for Group B Strep should be offered to all pregnant women, as many have no symptoms and don't know they're carrying the bacteria.

Screening trials will begin at 80 UK hospitals this year

Trials will start in 80 hospitals across the country this year which will involve screening pregnant women for the bacteria to try and stop the climbing numbers of babies affected.

For more information and support you can visit the Group B Strep Support charity.