I’m catching up on research about being autistic during the pandemic, and this one has something I’m sort of glad I hadn’t seen previously, as it would have been a profound source of anxiety.
Several studies have documented increased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines present in individuals with ASD (Saghazadeh et al., 2019). Emerging evidence shows that with at least one phenotype of COVID-19 infections, the body can become upregulated with inflammation through a “cytokine storm,” which can lead to cardiac and pulmonary damage (Lin et al., 2020). A tendency towards a pro-inflammatory state may put individuals with ASD at greater risk of more severe symptoms should they contract the virus (de Sousa Lima et al., 2020).
The cytokine storm was a disturbing thing to begin with, and I’m pretty certain that had I come down with COVID-19, no doctor would have known the above risk factor.
Relatedly: Oregon finally brought its list of eligible underlying conditions into compliance with the CDC’s. For me, this means being a former smoker propelled me into eligibility.
My two shots have been scheduled at a local Walgreens; my first one happens tomorrow.