Please note: While some information will still be current in a year, other information may already be out of date in three months time. If you are in any doubt, please feel free to ask.


Does bleach (household) kill bacteria, etc., on contact, or must the surface remain wet for a certain amount of time? Thanks.
Dear Questioner
Many thanks for your question on our platform.

Bleach can be effective in killing many bacteria that can infect the lungs of a patient with CF. The stronger the concentration of bleach and the longer it remains in contact with the surface, the better it is at killing bacteria. We can’t give exact guidance as bleaches will differ from one another. Please refer to the manufacturer’s instructions on concentration and contact time.

You can also help prevent the acquisition of infection by introducing some other precautions. For example, pseudomonas aeruginosa is a bacteria which is commonly found in lungs of patients with CF. For the majority of patients with CF the source of their infection cannot be determined. It is thought that this bacteria is mostly acquired through environmental sources, however, it can also be transmitted between patients. Some examples of environmental sources include areas of waste water in sink drains and toilets, ineffectively chlorinated swimming pools, and soil. Transmission between patients can be via aerosol (e.g. coughing) or indirectly via hands. The 2005 Standards of Care for patients with CF (Kerem et al) recommend that separate clinics should be held for those with P. aeruginosa and those without to reduce the risk of cross infection. Similarly separate rooms and facilities are recommended for patients who need to be admitted to hospital. It is also important to keep medical devices such as nebulisers clean and dry in between use.

A publication on the CF Trust website gives a thorough review of sources of P. Aeruginosa infection and some simple precautions

Some of the recommendations on this publication include: being aware of what organisms grow in your sputum, avoid close contact with people who have respiratory infections including those without CF, avoid holiday camps for CF people, avoid spa baths, check that swimming pool used is serviced regularly.

I hope this is of some help,
Best wishes, Lisa (Belfast)
The answer is edited by: PhD Lisa Kent