Covid-19 and Down Syndrome

Covid-19 is a a newly identified disease, caused by a type of coronavirus not previously seen in humans. It primarily affects the respiratory system.

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 advice offered should be case specific, and can be guided by advice offered by the speciality groups relevant to the different conditions . Speciality information sheets are available on the Great Ormond Street Hospital website .

For people with Down syndrome who do not have additional health conditions advice on avoiding exposure to infection should be as for the general population and include handwashing, avoiding exposure to those known to be affected and social isolation. Details on NHS website

It is also important to maximise other measures recommended to minimise the risk of infections including routine and additional immunisations, and treatment of other medical problems that may predispose to infection.

As the Covid-19 pandemic develops we will develop a greater understanding of how the disease affects different groups of people , including those with other health conditions and for those who have Down syndrome. We will endeavour to keep health professional colleagues working with people who have  Down syndrome with information as it becomes available. Below we have collected some resources that we feel are useful .

General advice

Up to date advice is available via the NHS website. 

Advice also available via UK Government website


Advice for Health professionals

Comprehensive advice has been prepared by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health COVID-19 guidance for paediatric services.

Resources for Community Paediatricians are available on the British Association for Community Child Health website.


Advice for parents, carers and people who have Down syndrome

There is useful information on the website of the Down’s Syndrome Association ( DSA) which includes an easy read guide about coronavirus , and advice on hand washing.

There are two recent  DSA Journal articles Preventing infection in children with Down’s syndrome and Recognition of Serious Illness in Children with Down’s syndrome.

Advice on infections is also included in the new 2020 version of the Personal Child Health Record DS insert on pages 9 and 16.

Similar useful information is also available on Down Syndrome Ireland website

General information about Coronavirus for parents can be found here

Wide ranging advice, with links to national and regional resources , and  helplines has been compiled by the Disabled Children’s Partnership


If you have any further suggestions of information about COVID-19 or useful resources we should put on the website please email


Last update 5.4.20