Cystic Fibrosis, a very serious inherited genetic disease, is also known as CF and sixty-five roses. This disease affects one in every 3,000 live births. It may first appear in a newborn, but can appear all the way up until a young adult. However, ten percent of most cases are apparent at birth. CF affects the lungs and causes a build-up of abnormally thick mucus which leads to chest infections, and CF also affects the reproductive system. Doctors do not know what causes the mucus to thicken. CF’s infections usually lead to death in childhood and early adulthood. Most people infected with CF had a life span into their teens long ago. Now, due to advanced technology, the life span is in the fifties or older. Almost ninety percent of Cystic Fibrosis cases are caused by a mutation of a gene called DeltaF508. The mutation involves a missing amino acid, from the CF gene, called phenylalanine. Scientists have yet to determine the exact function of the CF gene. Cystic Fibrosis is caused by a defective gene that alters a protein regulating the normal movement of salt in and out of cells. This makes secretions thick and sticky in the digestive and respiratory systems. Cystic Fibrosis is a life threatening disorder. Symptoms can begin during infancy and vary from child to child. The symptoms of each case are different because a person that has CF can do better or worse each day. One of the first signs of CF is excessive amounts of salt in sweat. The rest of the symptoms generally involve the respiratory system. A persistent cough and wheezing is caused by a clogged air tube in the respiratory system. In the digestive system, poor weight gain and greasy stools can be a sign of CF. If a child ever has any of these symptoms, they should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Cystic Fibrosis can lead to many respiratory complications such as: a collapsed lung, bronchiectasis, chronic infections, nasal polyps, and can eventually lead to respiratory...
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