Please note: While some information will still be current in a year, other information may already be out of date in three months time.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.


I have a grandson 4 months old who has CF (Delta 508F and G551). To date he has shown no signs of his condition and thriving well. I have had a chest infection and completed a course of anti biotics. I feel well but do still have a cough which I feel will take awhile to clear. Obviously I have kept away from my grandson but as I feel back to normal can I now be in contact with him or must I wait until the cough has completely cleared? Thank you.
Thank you for your question.

If this is an isolated chest infection it is more likely to be attributed to a virus. It therefore may take several weeks for the cough and virus to clear completely. Obviously avoiding contact with your Grandson for a long period of time may not be practical so there are measures that you can take to minimise the risk of cross infection:

1. Avoid coughing or sneezing in close proximity (approx 3 feet) to your Grandson.
2. Adherence to good hand hygiene practices is the most important intervention to prevent the spread of infectious agents. Wash your hands before and after all contact with your Grandson and after coughing or wiping your eyes or nose. It would be advisable to also use an alcohol based hand gel. Studies have shown alcohol based hand gel use was associated with reduced respiratory illness transmission in the home.
3. The use of disposable handkerchiefs would be recommended. However it is still uncertain whether disposable handkerchiefs impregnated with virucide reduce the incidence and spread of acute respiratory tract infections.

If you have a history of recurrent chest problems then this is likely to be attributed to bacteria and your own doctor can check a sputum sample and advice accordingly.
I hope this is of some help. It would also be advisable to discuss this issue with your local CF team.

Jefferson, T. et al. Physical Interventions to interrupt the spread of respiratory viruses: systematic review. BMJ 2009; 339: b3675

Lee, G.M. et al. Illness Transmission in the Home: A Possible Role for Alcohol – Based Hand Gels. Pediatrics Vol.115 No 4 April, 2005

Saiman, L. and J. Siegel. Infection Control in Cystic Fibrosis. Clinical Microbiology Reviews. 2004 January; 17 (1). 57-71

Hazel Mills
CF Nurse Specialist
The answer is edited by: Hazel Louise Mills