According to the CF Foundation “Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs and digestive system and other organs of the body. This mucus leads to chronic lung infections and difficulty digesting food and nutrients. The treatment of CF depends upon the severity of symptoms and the organs involved.”
Is CF contagious?
No. CF is part of a person’s genetic makeup, much like eye color or height. You can’t “catch” CF. However, there are certain bacteria that, while they may be harmless to most people, can be very detrimental to the health of someone with CF. These germs are easily passed from one CFer to another, so people with CF are strongly encouraged to keep their distance from each other.
Does CF affect more than just the lungs?
Yes. The same thick, sticky mucus that clogs our airways affects other organs as well. The pancreas is another major organ that is commonly affected. CF can also have an affect on the liver, intestines, sweat glands and reproductive organs.
What is the life expectancy for someone with CF?
This number varies depending on which source you get information from, but for kids born with CF today, life expectancy is somewhere between late 30’s to mid 40’s. According to the CF Patient Registry, the median age of death for CF patients in 2016 was 30.
If you have any questions about CF, please feel free to ask. I literally write a blog about it, so it’s not a topic of conversation I shy away from.