People with cystic fibrosis can't meet each other?

A friend who is teacher told me that they have three kids with cystic fibrosis in her school. And that the staff must make sure that they never are together in the same place.

Why is that?

Apparently many cystic fibrosis patients carry different strains of bacteria which are immune resistant because of the treatments the patients receive. If two patients meet they can transmit these bacteria to each other (many of them are transmitted through breathing).

people with CF have a particular susceptibility to respiratory infections that they can transmit easily each other.

I just learned this today myself by reading this article about a real-life couple with CF who transmitted one such infection.

Historically (ie, decades ago) CF kids were encouraged to do group activities, go to camps, etc. It was part of the support group movement of the time-a problem shared is a problem halved.

But it turned out that it may not have been a good idea physically because of the cross-infection by increasingly virulent chest flora.

It also may not have been a good idea psychologically because of the fact that the kids had a limited lifespan, and concentrating them together might well lead to a sense of dread, despair and unnecessary grief as their friends died.

I think that an absolute rule that they must never be in each others’ company, like matter and antimatter, is beyond what is strictly necessary, but probably driven by fear of litigation.