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Other Effects

With the pandemic, labs across the US and world have closed or dramatically reduced their operations, and this has halted studies into a number of rare genetic diseases, BuzzFeed News reports.

Toward the end of March, the National Institutes of Health told its internal labs to begin limiting staff within their labs, a move BuzzFeed notes other labs across the country then followed. But this, it notes, has meant a halt to some time-sensitive studies of conditions like neurofibromatosis 2 or Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

"All of our labs are shut down, and as a result the precious little time my son has left is being wasted," Nicole Henwood, who leads the charity NF2 BioSolutions, which sponsors research on NF2 gene therapies, tells BuzzFeed. Her son has the condition, it adds.

In addition to lab work being on pause, BuzzFeed reports that fundraising to support such work has also been affected with charity events being canceled or moving online. Further, it notes that many individuals affected by these rare diseases are also losing progress they'd made as they cannot currently access physical and other therapies due to social distancing protocols.