Staying healthy is the aim of anybody with CF, reducing the chance that infection will take hold and require treatment. We live in a germ-filled world and people with Cystic Fibrosis are more susceptible to lung infections, so some things should be done to reduce the risk.
Creating an environment with zero risk in not possible but there are ways to limit the potential for infection by maintaining good hygiene practices.
Wash your hands frequently, particularly after touching your face, coughing or sneezing. Try to avoid unnecessary contact with people who have colds and flu.
Cover your mouth when you cough, use a tissue or cough into your elbow. Throw away tissues immediately after use and wash hands.
Do not share eating utensils, drink bottles, or cups with others, even family members. Toys that are shared with others should be cleaned regularly.
Cystic Fibrosis New Zealand (CFNZ) has a brochure ‘Infection Control & Hygiene Guide’. This brochure has general hygiene guidelines, and also guidelines for those attending hospital clinics and as inpatients.
As most people with CF are more susceptible to chest infections caused by specific types of bacteria, it is important to limit the spread of these bacteria through the CF community.
It is recommended that people with CF avoid close or prolonged contact with other individuals who have CF. This reduces the opportunity for accidental transmission of potential infection.
When meeting other people with CF, avoid greeting them with a hand-shake, hug, or high-five. They will understand the need for reduced contact.
CFNZ has in place an Infection Control Policy which details the procedures for meetings or events run by the organisation and its branches. For a person with CF to attend an indoor event organized by the Association, you must provide recent test results showing absence of Burkholderia cepacia and MRSA.