FARA would like to communicate with the FA community regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) for several reasons but needs, first, to make clear that, although we have vetted this message with leading FA clinicians, we of the FARA staff are not physicians; we are not in a position to provide medical advice, and we are not providing medical advice in this message.

Some individuals with FA are considered “People at Risk for Serious Illness from COVID-19” as defined by the CDC, specifically, individuals are at higher risk for serious illness from this virus if they have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease.

In observance of this guidance, FARA has postponed the upcoming rideATAXIA Dallas event. We will continue to closely monitor developments locally and nationally, with respect to upcoming Spring events. We will communicate accordingly closer to those event dates.

Depending on your personal health and the situation in your local area, here are some points to keep in mind:

  • Check the CDC recommendations for People at Risk for Serious Illness from COVID-19. Take reasonable precautions that the CDC recommends: keep space between yourself and others, wash your hands, avoid touching your face, avoid crowds, restrict travel to the extent that you can, and stay off cruises. This may seem simple and common sense, but these are the most important steps you can take now.
  • For routine health maintenance for Friedreich’s ataxia or non-FA issues, such as annual well-visits or checkups, check with your physician, but in many cases this can be safely deferred for a few months.
  • For active health issues such as managing diabetes, cardiomyopathy or other conditions continue to be evaluated and monitored by your physicians.
  • For those participating in clinical trials, it is important to keep these appointments so that your safety is monitored and so that you don’t experience problems receiving study medications. We encourage you to be in contact with your study coordinators and physicians, if you have concerns about an upcoming visit.
  • If telemedicine resources are available to you, this may be a good option for questions about COVID-19.

General information about COVID-19, including links to what is happening in each state, can be found on the Centers for Disease Control website, which will be updated as new information becomes available.

Please note: This is a rapidly evolving situation. The comments provided are based on information available at the time of posting.

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