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About Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most common life-threatening recessive genetic condition affecting Australian children and young adults today.

CF primarily affects the lungs and digestive system. The CF gene change causes normal mucus to change into a thick, sticky substance, clogging the tiny air passages in the lungs and trapping bacteria. Repeated infections and blockages cause irreversible lung damage. People who have CF must have daily physiotherapy to combat the build-up of mucus in the lungs. Most must also take digestive enzyme replacement tablets with food and drink to aid digestion. This can mean taking up to 40 tablets per day.

Here are some quick facts about CF

  • Every 4 days a baby is born with CF
  • There are more than 1 million carriers of the CF gene change in Australia
  • There are over 3,000 people living with CF in Australia
  • CF is an inherited condition. For a child to be born with CF both parents must be genetic carriers
  • Management and treatment of CF is lifelong, ongoing and relentless
  • People with CF are not encouraged to socialise with each other due to the risk of cross-infection
  • Due to advancements the average life expectancy of someone living with CF is now 37, but there are still many children who do not reach adulthood
  • There is currently no cure