It’s a rare but serious disease that attacks the lungs and digestive system and destroys them little by little.
Cystic fibrosis is not contagious. It’s inherited from parents who transmit a defective gene.
In the US, about 1000 babies are born with the disease every year.
The disease makes mucus thick and glue like. Mucus is the slimy stuff you spit out sometimes when you have a cold.
The mucus in patients with cystic fibrosis, is too thick: it stops them breathing properly and can lead to infections. It also stops them digesting properly.
Patients cough a lot, feel very tired and suffer from bad tummy pains.
We don’t yet know how to cure this disease. But treatment is getting better!
Thanks to progress in research, people with cystic fibrosis can live almost normally: they go to school and do sports.
You may even have a friend with cystic fibrosis without knowing it.
However, patients have to undergo one and a half to 2 hours treatment every day!
Their lungs must be cleaned, their nose ventilated… And they have to take about 20 medicines!
It’s a bother but it’s much better than in the 1960s.
In those days, children with cystic fibrosis only lived to age 7. Nowadays, people live till they are 50. And the research continues…