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Q&A: Cystic fibrosis and COVID-19

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DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My cousin has cystic fibrosis. After graduating from faculty final December, she moved throughout the nation to take a brand new job. Now she lives with me. I’ve at all times been anxious about her, however I’m extra involved now that COVID-19 instances are rising in our space. Although I do know coughing is frequent along with her situation, each time I hear her cough, I fear it is COVID-19. Complicating the scenario, since shifting she has not discovered a well being care supplier who’s comfy treating cystic fibrosis. How can I assist her stay effectively?

ANSWER: Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that causes abnormalities of mucus, sweat and digestive juices. Common indicators embody wheezing, recurrent lung or sinus infections, and issue gaining weight. It can result in injury to the lungs, digestive system and different organs within the physique.

It is estimated that 30,000 individuals are residing with cystic fibrosis within the U.S. But, like your cousin, most of those individuals are often in a position to attend college and work.

Although your cousin could also be accustomed to her disease, it might be scary for you, particularly since cough and shortness of breath are indicators of COVID-19 infection. She is fortunate to have a member of the family who is anxious for her security.

Encourage your cousin to determine an accredited cystic fibrosis heart to determine care. Since cystic fibrosis is a disease that impacts many organ techniques, getting access to a multidisciplinary group of well being care suppliers who’re well-versed within the disease can guarantee she may have entry to the most recent therapies and finest practices in remedy. This consists of being evaluated for a liver or lung transplant, ought to her disease ever progress to that time.

Over the previous few years, new drugs have been developed that may dramatically enhance lung perform and general well-being for many sufferers with cystic fibrosis. Also, these cumulative medical advances, coupled with attentive multidisciplinary care, have helped enhance the life expectancy for sufferers with cystic fibrosis to an all-time excessive. This pattern is anticipated to proceed, and with constant and acceptable care, your cousin can have a protracted, wholesome life forward of her.

Also, a cystic fibrosis heart might help your cousin deal with any considerations, particularly because the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Although the results of COVID-19 are usually not absolutely understood, sufferers with cystic fibrosis and other people with underlying well being circumstances, together with lung disease, might expertise extra extreme points from COVID-19 in the event that they grow to be contaminated. However when sufferers with cystic fibrosis have contracted COVID-19, outcomes have been encouraging. To date, most cystic fibrosis sufferers who developed COVID-19 have recovered with out hospitalization.

Encourage your cousin to proceed working towards the security measures advisable to sluggish the unfold of COVID-19. Most of those practices are customary for folks with cystic fibrosis. For instance, it is not uncommon follow for sufferers with cystic fibrosis to put on a masks in lots of settings, preserve social distancing and follow wonderful private hygiene. Chat together with your cousin and ask her recommendation, as folks with cystic fibrosis are expert and skilled in optimizing digital interactions and understanding dwell a full and vibrant life whereas nonetheless sustaining secure practices. Everyone can study from their expertise and experience.

It is essential that everybody stays attentive to the rules for infection management. Wear a masks when out in public, and follow good hand hygiene and social distancing. Also, restrict inviting company to your property.

Recognizing that cystic fibrosis is a fancy disease and impacts every individual residing with it in a different way, proceed to encourage your cousin to determine care at an accredited cystic fibrosis heart. An lively partnership with a cystic fibrosis care group is one of the simplest ways for her to take care of optimum long-term well being and well-being. Visit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation web site for extra details about accredited cystic fibrosis facilities.

—Dr. Margaret Johnson, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida


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Q&A: Cystic fibrosis and COVID-19 (2020, September 30)
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