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COVID-19 and HD

COVID-19 and HD

The current COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis presents with unprecedented challenges and uncertainties for all.  In this article, we hope to contribute to increasing awareness and knowledge about COVID-19.  While the information and resources provided below are by no means exhaustive, we hope that they can be helpful for HD patients and their caretakers.

COVID-19 General Info

COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019, is a highly contagious viral infection caused by a newly identified virus called SARS-CoV-2.1  The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on March 11, 2020.2  While scientists are still researching the transmission of the virus, it is believed that COVID-19 is primarily spread among people through close contact and respiratory droplets.3  Symptoms can vary from person to person and start 2-14 days after exposure, but common symptoms include dry cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell.4  According to the WHO, approximately 80% of people with COVID-19 recover without any need for special medical treatment, but 1 in 6 develop breathing difficulties and become seriously ill.5

Click here to view the preventative measures described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

COVID-19 and Huntington’s 

According to the European Huntington Association, Huntington’s disease itself does not necessarily put HD patients at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19.  However, among HD patients that are symptomatic, there may be an increased risk of developing pneumonia as a result of being bedridden and undernourished.  HD patients may also be at a higher risk of developing symptoms if exposed to COVID-19 and having a more serious illness.6


Below are some potentially helpful resources for HD patients and their caregivers:

COVID-19 information:

Lifestyle resources:

Virtual support groups and social support:

Other Helpful Resources:

A starter guide on how to navigate the popular video calling platform, Zoom

Device designed to help seniors connect with loved ones

Video calling app for android devices

A tool that crowdsources wait times for local stores and can be useful for avoiding crowds


  1. Subraminiam, V., “Information About COVID-19 for Huntington’s Disease Patients”. Huntington’s Disease News. []
  2. Cucinotta, D. and Vanelli, M., “WHO Declares COVID-19 a Pandemic”. Acta BioMedica. []
  3. Brosseau, L., “COMMENTARY: COVID-19 transmission messages should hinge on science”. Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. []
  4. Symptoms of Coronavirus”. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. []
  5. Readfearn, G., “What happens to people’s lungs when they get coronavirus?”. The Guardian. []
  6. Subraminiam, V., “Information About COVID-19 for Huntington’s Disease Patients”. Huntington’s Disease News. []