A united front for high-risk individuals

Monday, May 11, 2020
 | 
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

coronavirus (illustration)Coronavirus has a special impact on individuals with Down syndrome, so organizations dedicating to improving the lives of those with the genetic condition are working to help them decide the best way to operate right now.

Many Americans continue to stay homebound because of COVID-19 and its sometimes fatal outcome. Fortunately, most of them will not likely contract the virus, but there is special concern for people with Down syndrome.

Chris Newlon of the National Association for Down Syndrome tells OneNewsNow one factor is lower muscle tone, which affects a person with Down syndrome's ability to cough and expectorate any congestion they may have.

"Any sort of pre-existing conditions that person may have, if anybody has residual heart defects or autoimmune issues -- our kids tend to have more autoimmune issues than the typically developing population," Newlon explains.

People with Down syndrome should follow the same precautions as everyone else, including social distancing and staying at home. But Newlon reports that the Global Down Syndrome Foundation in Denver, Colorado has a number of other recommendations for people with special needs.

"They're compiling them, and that's what we're sharing as one united front," says Newlon. "They have the ability to go through the efforts to look at what is best for individuals with Down syndrome -- travel considerations, work and activity considerations, recommendations for high-risk individuals; these are all on their website."

She adds that all organizations that work on the issue typically do share their information to the public, and COVID-19 has made that all the more important.

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