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Not enough is known about COVID-19 to make informed and accurate comment about any specific link or effects it may have on people with Down syndrome. DSi is keeping up to date with information from relevant health and scientific organisations.

The current advice for people with Down syndrome is the same as for everyone else - to follow local guidance in terms of precautions, dependent on an individual's personal risk category. This advice may vary between countries and regions. A common theme is the necessity for hand washing, social distancing and staying at home as much as possible to avoid exposure.


The Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group (DSMIG) UK and Ireland has produced the following statement:

There is no evidence at the moment of people who have Down syndrome being at particular risk of this coronavirus, though of course people who have Down syndrome may be more at risk from infections generally and respiratory infections in particular. However there is evidence to suggest it may pose a greater risk to those with other chronic health conditions, including pre-existing respiratory conditions, heart disease, diabetes, and immunodeficiency. A number of children and adults who have Down syndrome will fall within these higher risk groups.


The Trisomy 21 Research Society (T21RS), a worldwide network of scientists and clinicians studying Down syndrome, has prepared the following short statement to summarise their position on actions that need to be undertaken to protect individuals with Down syndrome against COVID-19, which is intended to complement more specific local guidance.

Down syndrome is a highly variable condition and everyone is different. However, overall, people with Down syndrome have fewer cells providing active surveillance in the immune system. We also know that people with Down syndrome may mount immune responses more slowly than the general population, and it is possible that this is more pronounced with ageing (as in the general population).

Therefore we offer three recommendations for those with Down syndrome, their carers and clinicians:

  1. Avoid exposure as much as is possible through social distancing. Everyone with Down syndrome with significant additional health issues should be self-isolating if possible.
  2. Ensure equitable access to healthcare and treat people with Down syndrome the same as all others
  3. If there is any doubt about a change in the health of someone with Down syndrome, seek clinical advice immediately.

You may be interested in these updates:

Down syndrome COVID-19 survey