Infection control is important to prevent cross infection between patients.

Most is known about this problem in patients with cystic fibrosis, who are particularly vulnerable to both cross infection and to worsening symptoms when infected with certain organisms. Of particular concern is transmission with pseudomonas, although much less is known about the impact of this organism in PCD or other forms of bronchiectasis.

As a result in-patients with any form of chronic suppurative lung disease are segregated to prevent this happening. This is achieved by personal hygiene regimens, separation of patients on wards and in clinic and avoiding sharing rooms for physiotherapy. Cleaning all nebulizer equipment and not allowing siblings to share equipment is essential.

Preventing infection is also possible with vaccination and all PCD patients should follow guidance for both annual vaccination programmes , and more long term protection for other bacterial forms of pneumonia. The following guide is typical, but can change depending on emergence of new organisms and development of vaccines. Your medical team will be able to update you on what is current.

Influenza

  • Seasonal flu vaccines are developed every year in response to the virus that is most prevalent. It does not protect against all forms of influenza, and is only protective against the most likely virus to cause an epidemic that season.
  • Swine flu vaccines have been developed in a very similar way to the seasonal flu vaccine in response to the worldwide spread [pandemic] of the H1N1 virus. This is a newly identified virus and less is known about how it will behave in any given season, or what will happen when it is prevalent with another form of epidemic flu. It is safe and well tolerated and all PCD patients should be offered this protection.

Pneumonia

  • H. influenzae type B is now part of routine childhood vaccination programmes.
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae is a common infection in PCD and all patients are advised to have the pneumococcal vaccine. This vaccine does not need to be given annually, and covers many but not all serotypes of the organism. Therefore, pneumococcal infections may still occur and should be treated aggressively.