coronavirus risk for FAODs

Fatty Acid Oxidation Disorders & Coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic has people across the world taking precautions to avoid infection and staying indoors. The details on the virus are still evolving so misinformation on the coronavirus is running wild. Many people still have questions and there are not always clear answers. One of the biggest questions on many people’s mind is “am I at risk for a more serious case of COVID-19?”

The coronavirus is unpredictable, with some people displaying little to no symptoms while others are dying. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the people who are at risk of having severe and life-threatening cases of COVID-19 are those 65 and older, people in a long-term care facility, women who are pregnant, and people with high-risk conditions.1 So what exactly qualifies as a high-risk condition and are people with fatty acid oxidation disorders at risk for coronavirus?

At the International Network for Fatty Acid Oxidation Research and Management (INFORM), we work with families and patients with fatty acid oxidation disorders, or FAODs, and we know that many are scared and confused. To help minimize panic and clear up the confusion, we are answering your question.

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, high-risk conditions include lung disease, asthma, heart conditions, and those who are immunocompromised.1 We view people with FAODs as having higher than normal risk due to coronavirus infection until there is clear data to the contrary. The exact nature of this risk may depend on a variety of factors like age, current state of their health, and the presence of any other health conditions. Because fatty acid oxidation disorders can vary considerably, the impact of the coronavirus may also range dramatically.

Fighting infections requires energy and such illnesses are always higher risk in patients with FAODs. COVID19 is no exception and may cause significant risk even in a milder form of an FAOD. Additionally, a delay in diagnosing COVID19 may place patients at risk before the infection isrecognized.

If you or a family member has a fatty acid oxidation disorder, it is better to take precautions and be safe. Stay inside and wash your hands regularly. Practice personal distancing when in the presence of others. If you do start to feel any symptoms such as a fever, dry cough, or sore throat, call your doctor immediately.


  1. CDC – People who are at higher risk for severe illness