The reality of Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle disease is a genetic disorder that affects the red blood cell. The red blood cell contains haemoglobin which gives the blood its red colour and also carries oxygen
from the lungs to the rest of the body. A healthy red blood cell is round in shape which makes it easy for it to flow through the body; a sickle red blood cell on the other hand is curved in shape as a result it makes it difficult for blood to flow through the body. Also as a result of the curved shape it carries less oxygen from the lungs to the rest of
the body which can result to anything from shortness of breath to serious infections and organ damage.
Here are some Myths and Facts about the dieases.
Myth 1: Those suffering from sickle cell disease die young.
Fact: The treatment options for sickle cell disease are improving with time. With the right medical help the individuals with sickle cell disease can lead long and full life.
Myth 2: Sickle cell is an STD
Fact: Sickle cell is and inherited diseases and is not transmitted sexually
Myth 3: Sickle cell is contagious.
Fact: Sickle cell is not contagious. It is strictly an inherited disease, and only people who are born with this genetic defect can develop the disease
Myth 4: Sickle cell trait is sickle cell disease.
Fact: Sickle Cell Trait is not an illness, but in rare cases some persons have experienced blood in their urine, and “crisis/pain episode” after exposure to high altitudes.
Myth 5: Only women need to be screened.
Fact: It is essential that both men and women get screened because the ultimate outcome as to whether a child has the disease or not is dependent on the gene inherited from both parents not just the gene inherited from the mother.

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