Cystic Fibrosis CEO tells sufferers not to be alarmist or complacent against swine flu

The Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland has called on the HSE to ensure that Irish people with cystic fibrosis be vaccinated against the H1N1 virus at the same time as front line health workers.

Meanwhile the association has advised people living with CF not to be alarmist or complacent following the death of Darina Calpin, a CF sufferer from Sligo who died after contracting swine flu.

The CEO of the Cystic Fibrosis Association Philip Watt has extended the association’s deepest condolences to Darina’s family and has appealed for privacy for them as they come to terms with their loss.

“We would like to voice the concern of the CFAI about the death, and our understanding from current advice that all those with lung disease, including those with CF, can be at greater risk from swine flu than other people without lung disease,” said Mr Watt. “At the same time we would also like it to be noted that people with CF, including Irish people with CF, have contracted swine flu and have fully recovered from the virus.

“We would like to strongly emphasise the obvious need for people with CF to be able to obtain the H1N1 vaccine at the same time as front line health workers.

“We would advise that people living with CF, their family and friends, should neither be alarmist nor complacent about the issue. What is needed now is more specific guidance from the HSE to people with CF to complement the general advice that is already available.

“The CFAI recently met with the HSE on these issues and at this meeting we were given assurances that these guidelines will be published in the near future and this is to be welcomed,” Mr Watt added.

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