The disease occurs when both parents carry a gene for the disorder. One person is every 20 is a carrier of CF, but an affected gene will be masked by a normal gene from other parent, and even where two carriers of CF have a baby, there is only a one-in-four chance that the baby will have CF. these chances apply anew for each pregnancy. They do not change the more pregnancies one has. CF affects girls and boys in equal numbers.
DIAGNOSES: CF can be detected through a blood test. In the U.S., only six states routinely include CF in the new-born blood test required by law.
Another test, carried out when a child is at least three months old, measures the amount of salt in the sweat; children with CF have more salt in their sweat than normal children. (Some parents comment that their child testes salty when they kiss him or her, even though children with CF do not sweat more than other children). This sweat test is carried out on any baby who has recurrent bouts of pneumonia or fails to thieve, and on the brothers and sisters of a child with CF.
Parents’ feelings Once the diagnosis is made, parents may have trouble accepting it, especially if their child seems well. They may feel angry, or guilty, but very soon they will realize that no one is to blame. Recriminations are not only pointless, they will do great harm to relationships within the family and to the child with CF. Although CF is a fatal disease, many who have it live into adulthood.