Cystic Fibrosis Center

Infection Prevention and Control

Information about infection prevention and control for patients with cystic fibrosis and their families

People living with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) are at a higher risk of obtaining respiratory infections. This is largely due to growth of bacteria within the lungs. The lungs often have thick, sticky mucus that provides a host environment for organisms to grow. Patients with CF can spread bacteria to each other through droplet or contact measures. Our center at Johns Hopkins All Children’s follows strict guidelines to avoid the spread of infection.

How patients and families can help minimize the spread of infection

  • All patients with CF should observe the “6-foot rule.” This means that people with CF should remain separated from each other by at least 6 feet of distance in all settings. Those who live with CF patients should also remain 6 feet from anyone with any type of respiratory infection. This could include anyone with a cough, fever, viral illness or flu.
  • Patients with CF, family members and friends should wash their hands regularly with alcohol-based hand sanitizer or antimicrobial soap and water.
  • Patients with CF should wear a mask while in the clinic areas, and parents should make sure their children avoid touching or playing with any toys in the waiting areas.

How we minimize the spread of infection

  • Patients with CF are cared for by different nurses when possible.
  • Patients with CF are not allowed to be in the room of another patient with CF.
  • Patients with CF are not allowed to be in communal areas, such as playrooms or the gym, at the same time.
  • Patients with CF are cared for using Contact Precautions.
  • Health care providers wear gowns and gloves while in the presence of a patient with CF.
  • Patients are hospitalized in a single room.
  • We take additional precautions when scheduling patients colonized with Burkholderia cepacia, a group of bacteria that may infect those with chronic lung diseases. To ensure the safety of our other CF patients, extra precautions and specialized cleaning techniques are used to prevent the spread of all viral and bacterial organisms.
Please talk to your physician, nurse or other member of the care team if you have additional questions or concerns about infection control. The CF Foundation also provides helpful resources for families about infection control.

Contact us

For more information about airway clearance or to schedule an appointment in the Cystic Fibrosis Center, please call 727-767-3995.