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The frequency of sickle cell crises can range from every few years to many times per year.
The sickle cell hemoglobin can cause the red blood cells to change shape, from the normal round shape into a crescent (or sickle) shape.
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The disease affects approximately one in 500 African Americans and one out of 1,000 to 1,400 Hispanic Americans. Family members and friends may be afraid they will "catch" sickle cell disease and get sick themselves. It cannot be spread from person to person through the air, by contact or via blood transfusions. This means that the disease is passed through families, from parents to their children.
Each time a baby is born, he or she has two genes that determine the make-up of the hemoglobin one that comes from the mother and one that comes from the father.
Common Symptoms of Sickle Cell Disease Children may start to have symptoms of sickle cell disease as young as 6 months of age.