Flu warning: Your persistent cough could be THIS deadly genetic condition

Cystic fibrosis causes damage to the respiratory and digestive systems.

This can lead to a build-up of thick, sticky mucus in the organs which can significantly impact on life expectancy.

Symptoms include a stuff nose, persistent cough and wheezing.

But they could be confused with signs of flu, which also include a cough and stuffy nose.

However, cystic fibrosis won’t clear up in a week or two, and can lead to people only living until their 40s or 50s.

It is a genetic condition, which means a disease caused by an abnormality in a person’s DNA.

There are 6,000 different genetic disorders in the world, and one in 25 people children born in the UK are affected.

Some genetic disorders are apparent at birth while others are diagnosed at different stages throughout childhood, and sometimes into adulthood.

While most people know at least one person who has a genetic disorder, there remain many misconceptions about them.

These include that genetic disorders are always visible.

“Although some genetic disorders can affect facial features and be physically noticeable, such as Down’s syndrome and Achondroplasia (a form of short-limbed dwarfism), you certainly cannot always tell by looking at someone whether or not they have a genetic disorder,” said Emily Clarke, a genetics counsellor at Genetic Disorders UK.

“Many genetic conditions are invisible, such as Cystic Fibrosis and Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is a disease of the heart.”

Additionally, it is commonly assumed that having in family history of genetic condition means you are not at risk.

“Many genetic conditions occur ‘out of the blue’ without there being any known family history,” explained Clarke.

“It may be that by chance both parents are healthy ‘carriers’ of the same recessive genetic condition and have a 1 in 4 chance of passing the condition on to each child they have. 

“ In some very rare cases, a genetic disorder can even occur in a child due to a new spontaneous genetic change that has arisen for the first time in them, and has not been inherited from either parent.”

Jeans for Genes day takes place on Friday 22nd September. To donate to Jeans for Genes online please visit www.jeansforgenesday.org.

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