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Overview of the CF Foundation's Infection Prevention and Control Policy

The health and well-being of people with cystic fibrosis is the primary concern of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation — it is at the heart of all we do.

Despite significant progress in treating cystic fibrosis, lung infections caused by bacteria remain a serious problem for those with CF and can lead to severe or worsening disease, or death.

In light of the considerable risks to the health and safety of people with CF, in 2003 the Foundation established an infection prevention and control policy for all CF Foundation events, meetings and offices.

Updated Recommendations

Following review of new medical evidence by a group of CF experts, in early 2013, the Foundation revised its policy to reduce the risk of people with CF spreading or acquiring dangerous bacteria from one another at Foundation-sponsored gatherings.

The key elements of the Foundation’s updated policy are:

  • At indoor events: Only one person with CF may be present at any CF Foundation-sponsored indoor event, meeting or office, including gatherings such as Foundation chapter committee meetings. This person will be invited by the event/meeting organizers or volunteer leaders.

  • At outdoor events: People with CF should maintain a distance of at least six feet from each other at any Foundation-sponsored outdoor event or gathering.

Our aim is to do whatever we can to promote the health of people with CF according to the best medical advice available to us.

The Foundation is committed to working closely with people with CF and their families to find new ways to harness technology to bring our community together.

Recent Scientific Data on Cross-Infection

The latest medical data show that the risk of spreading destructive bacteria among people with CF is greater than was previously believed.

These new findings include evidence that strains of different bacteria, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM), have been spread between people with CF. Studies have shown that these strains can lead to worse symptoms and can speed decline in lung function.

In addition, research also suggests that the risk of some germs spreading through the air is greater than was previously known.

Infection Prevention and Control Best Practices 

While bacteria are everywhere and cannot be avoided, you can help reduce the risk of getting or spreading germs by following some basic best practices, including:

  • Clean your hands regularly — either with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand gel. 
  • Use a tissue whenever you cough or sneeze, then throw it away and clean your hands afterwards. 
  • Avoid unnecessary contact with people with CF if you have a cold or other illness that can spread germs until the infection has gone away.

Additional Resources 

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Updated: 12/4/13 

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is an accredited charity of the Better Business Bureau.