While the pandemic requires everyone to be cautious and avoid the spread of coronavirus that causes COVID-19, scientists and medical experts have come to the conclusion that people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes are particularly more prone to incur major complications if they do get sick. According to The World Health Organization (WHO), older persons and persons with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer, or diabetes) are the people that are the most at-risk.
While there has been no proven direct connection between diabetes and death from COVID-19, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reports a 7.3% fatality rate among those with diabetes. According to a study published in Current Diabetes Review, hyperglycemia in diabetics is the cause of dysfunction of the immune response, resulting in failure to control the spread of invading pathogens, making diabetics more susceptible to infections.
Here’s how you can avoid infection:
Staying home is your safest bet: Staying home and isolated is something that will go a long way to avoid coronavirus infection. Under the Americans With Disabilities Act, people with diabetes have the right to “reasonable accommodations at work”, which includes the right to work from home or take sick leave when you need it.
Practice social distancing: Practicing social distancing and leave about six feet between you and strangers. The virus spreads fairly easily — through infected surfaces as well as from droplets from other infected people coughing and sneezing. Wearing masks and gloves will give you extra protection from contracting the virus from infected people and surfaces.
Maintain hygiene: One must wash hands or use hand sanitizer often while out or when at home. Washing hands before cooking and limiting the sharing of utensils and other personal items have been recommended by the medical experts.
Stock up on medication and supplies: Stock up on medications that you need for a few weeks. Keep your medications, doctor’s prescriptions, and contact details handy. Make sure you have access to enough food and foods like Jell-O and hard candies to correct the situation if your blood glucose drops suddenly.
Whether it is dealing with COVID-19 or not, it’s always smart to be prepared. Diabetes is a tricky disease and can cause serious complications in your body, but staying informed, being prepared, and having a helping hand can make all the difference in the world!