The spreading Coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) has many people worried and concerned for their loved one with Down syndrome. With so much news coverage, it is sometimes difficult to find accurate information. One good source of information is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Click on the link below to see their message. We have also attached a link with an expert answering common questions about the virus (see the second link below).
We are all at risk for getting this virus, but we are most worried about who might get very sick if exposed to COVID-19. According to the CDC, the people at highest risk for getting very sick are:
- older adults and
- people with serious chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or lung disease.
If you think your loved one with Down syndrome might fall into the high-risk group, please call a physician that you trust and that knows them well. Everyone is unique and the opinion of a trusted physician who knows your loved one’s needs best, will help you make good decisions for your family. We also know that we all need to practice regular hand washing and/or the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer. This is true for everyone, including people with Down syndrome.
We don’t know how long this outbreak will last or how it might affect our families and this uncertainty can lead to fear. However, knowledge is the best way to combat both the virus and the fear. Please be sure to get the facts from trusted sources such as a family doctor and take care of yourself and everyone in your family.
We will share further updates to families when we hear more information specific to families with Down syndrome.
James Hendrix, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer