Outbreaks of invasive group A β-hemolytic streptococcal (GABS) infections have recently been reported. We observed a high incidence of invasive GABS disease among Native Americans at a small rural community hospital between 1982 and 1991.
A retrospective chart review was performed, and all cases of invasive GABS disease were studied for their clinical features.
Sixteen cases of invasive GABS infection were identified during the 10-year study period. The rate of invasive GABS infection was 13.3 cases per 100 000 population per year. Mortality was 25%. Nearly half of the patients presented with systemic signs of sepsis without any obvious source of infection.
Our experience documents a high rate of invasive GABS infections in a defined Native American population. To determine whether this population has a unique susceptibility to GABS disease requires further study.(Arch Intern Med. 1992;152:1881-1884)