The outbreak of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has been categorized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization. This virus may cause additional challenges for people who are already vulnerable and particularly those who struggle with existing health conditions. There is no evidence yet about how people with Down syndrome are affected by COVID-19, but given the potential risk T21RS made some initial recommendations.
However, to better understand the risk and to inform appropriate recommendations to protect individuals with DS against COVID-19, the T21RS has launched several initiatives and many of the T21RS members are now part of a T21RS COVID-19 Taskforce.
Our Clinical and Science & Society Committees have spearheaded the design and implementation of an international survey of COVID-19 in Down syndrome to be completed by carers and clinicians caring for individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. The surveys are currently “live” in several countries and available in English, Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese. We will make our findings available at regular intervals to the entire Down syndrome community.
The survey is accompanied by an ongoing review of the relevant scientific and medical literature being undertaken by the T21RS Preclinical Committee. The goal is to better understand the potential roots of the susceptibility to viral respiratory infections in general for people with Down syndrome, and whether this vulnerability translates into a specific vulnerability to COVID-19.
At T21RS, we are committed to conducting and supporting research needed to understand the following issues:
Whether individuals with Down syndrome are are more vulnerable to severe outcomes because of co-occurring conditions
Whether those with Down syndrome are at an increased risk for complications arising in the context of SARS-CoV-2 infection
Whether there are atypical responses to treatments of COVID-19 among individuals with Down syndrome, including their response to future vaccines.
LuMind IDSC’s Chief Scientific Officer, James Hendrix, PhD, interviewed the Trisomy 21 Research Society (T21RS) COVID-19 Task Force members
Watch the entire webcast interview to hear the purpose and global distribution of the survey plans from the T21RS COVID-19 Task Force members, as well as the preliminary takeaways and how they may be helpful to families and care providers as the pandemic evolves.
T21RS statement on “shielding” or confinementof individuals with Down syndrome during the COVID-19 pandemic