COVID 19 and People with Down Syndrome
Actualizado: 29 dic 2020
Consideraciones de viaje para las personas con síndrome de Down en torno a la situación actual y el coronavirus
March 2020 | Brian Chicoine, MD - Medical Director, Adult Down Syndrome Center
The Venezuelan Association for Down Syndrome AVESID shares the latest statement issued by the Global Down Syndrome Foundation.
Children and adults with Down syndrome are included in the population most at risk from COVID-19, as many of them have pre-existing respiratory conditions, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and immunodeficiency.
For these people, it is advisable to avoid going outside while we are in this situation in which the number of infections continues to expand worldwide.
On the other hand, people with Down syndrome must follow the same recommendations for other citizens to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. It is recommended:
1.Maintain proper hygiene especially when using the bathroom
2. Wash your hands correctly and continuously with soap and water, especially when entering and leaving the house.
3. Avoid touching mouth, nose and eyes
4. Avoid crowded open or closed spaces - avoid the use of public transport, events, etc.
5. Avoid contact especially with the elderly, babies or sick people. 6. Frequently clean objects of continuous use such as tables, cell phones, doorknobs, bathrooms and kitchens with bleach or sodium hypochlorite solutions as they are substances that disable the virus in 5 minutes
7. The virus is also transmitted through secretions, urine, and feces. It is important to have good hygiene in bathrooms.
8. Drink plenty of water that is not cold and also hot liquids such as tea, infusions, soups and hot water.
9. Avoid drinking cold drinks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -CDC- recommend that people at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19 avoid non-essential air travel. Many people with Down syndrome are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 for various reasons. These include Down syndrome-related immunodeficiency and an increased frequency of co-occurring conditions associated with an increased risk of severe disease from COVID-19. Since traveling also makes it difficult to maintain distance from others, we recommend that people with Down syndrome avoid nonessential air travel.
People with Down syndrome are more susceptible to respiratory infections. We do not know of anyone with Down syndrome who has been infected with COVID-19. However, the risk with other respiratory infections would indicate that people with Down syndrome would be more likely to get sick and ill if they are infected with COVID-19.
We have received several questions about travel recommendations for people with Down syndrome, in light of the new coronavirus (COVID-19).
Choosing whether or not to travel for non-commercial purposes remains a personal decision. At the Down Syndrome Center for Adults, we encourage individuals with Down syndrome we serve and their families to consider their sense of comfort with risk and their personal health history, as well as the CDC's recommendations when taking the decision. For all potential travelers, we recommend speaking with your healthcare provider if you have questions about traveling.
So how do you decide?
Consider the following questions:
Is this trip important enough to risk infection?
How will I manage if I get infected or exposed while traveling? What if I was hospitalized outside the home? If I was in quarantine and couldn't travel home or go to work or school for 14 days?
Currently, there is no vaccine for COVID-19. Right now, the main ways to stop the spread of the disease are:
1. Limit infection of yourself by practicing good hand hygiene, disinfecting your surroundings, and avoiding touching your face.
2. Limitation of exposure to the virus. We can reduce the chance of respiratory droplets containing COVID-19 landing on us by being at least 6 feet away from other people Certain situations, such as being on an airplane or in crowds, make it impossible to stay 6 feet away of others.
3. The short version of the recommendations: Wash your hands. Keep your environment disinfected. Stay home if you are sick. Avoid unnecessary contact with sick people. To travel, assess your risk, your comfort with risk and the importance of your trip and make a decision that is right for you.
Other precautions to consider, based on research
Research says that people with Down syndrome are more likely to have complications from viral respiratory infections, including H1N1 and RSV, and a higher number of hospitalizations.
Given this research, if you, as an individual with Down syndrome, your child with Down syndrome, or your ward with Down syndrome has a respiratory infection, is recovering from a recent respiratory infection, has chronic respiratory problems, or viral lung infections.
You should Consider taking the same precautions that would apply to anyone at high risk.