Genetic Flaw May Put Your Child in Jeopardy
Media Release Date: 12/24/03
(NUI) - Primary Immunodeficiency, also
known as PI, could be causing health problems for your child
right now. And you may suspect something is wrong. Should
you be concerned? Definitely.
You are not alone. Many parents are frustrated because they
see little or no improvement in their child's condition,
even after frequent doctor visits. They know something must
be wrong, but they just cannot figure out what it is.
Unfortunately, some parents facing this situation lose hope,
and they resign themselves to believing their child will
always be sick more often than other children. But if your
child is one of the more than 500,000 Americans afflicted
with PI, you can have hope, but only if you are well informed.
PI is a genetic defect in a child's immune system that makes
the child more susceptible to illness. PI is not rare; it
exists in more than 100 forms. The condition is more prevalent
than childhood leukemia and lymphoma combined.
PI is very different from AIDS, and
they should not be confused with each other. Although both
involve the immune system,
PI is genetic, or "built into" a person's body
by their genes. It's like the color of your eyes; you don't
catch it, and you can't change it. AIDS, on the other hand,
is acquired and is an infectious disease.
Correct diagnosis of PI begins with awareness of the warning
signs, such as eight or more new ear infections, two or more
sinus infections, or two or more pneumonias within one year.
Other signs include two or more months on antibiotics with
little effect, recurrent deep skin or organ abscesses, and
failure to gain weight or grow normally.
If your child exhibits two or more of these symptoms, you
should learn more about PI. Call the Jeffrey Modell Foundation
at 1-866-INFO-4-PI, or visit the Web site at www.info4pi.org.
If diagnosed correctly, PI is treatable and your child can
live a normal, happy and healthy life.
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