At the end of 2019, China alerted the WHO about several cases of unusual pneumonia in Wuhan, the cause of which was an unknown virus. A novel coronavirus was later identified as the cause of these infections after which it started spreading rapidly, resulting in a global pandemic. In February 2020, the World Health Organization named the disease ‘COVID-19’, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019.
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), “In general people with diabetes face greater risks of complications when dealing with viral infections like flu, and that is likely to be true with COVID-19.” Understanding of this novel coronavirus and diabetes is still under process, but certain facts like, it triggers a respiratory tract infection, infections range from mild to deadly, people who have existing chronic medical conditions, or who have compromised immune systems may be at higher risk are known so far!
How does COVID 19 spread?
It spreads like any other respiratory disease, through contaminated air-droplets (not airborne) that comes out of the infected person’s mouth while talking, coughing or sneezing. The virus can also survive on surfaces and touching those surfaces and then the mouth, nose or eyes are thought to be the way of transmission.
What are its symptoms?
According to Harvard Health symptoms include dry cough, fever, myalgia and respiratory problems such as viral pneumonia, and respiratory failure. Additionally, kidney failure, organ inflammation, or Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, in which the lungs fill with fluid, may also occur in severe cases.
Can being diabetic put you at higher risk?
According to The American Diabetes Association (ADA), “In general people with diabetes face greater risks of complications when dealing with viral infections like flu, and that is likely to be true with COVID-19.” With that being said, diabetes coronavirus death rate is on the rise due to uncontrolled diabetes that make symptoms feel more intense, and it may be more challenging to manage a pre-existing condition which could result in hospitalization.
What precautions can people with diabetes take?
- Stock up on medications that you need for a few weeks. Keep your medications, doctor’s prescriptions and contact details handy.
- Pay extra attention to your glucose control. Any infection will cause your glucose levels to raise and increase your need for fluids, so make sure you can access a sufficient supply of water.
- If you show flu-like symptoms (raised temperature, cough, difficulty breathing), it is important to consult a healthcare professional immediately.
- Make sure you have access to enough food to correct the situation if your blood glucose drops suddenly.
- If you live alone, make sure someone knows you have diabetes as you may require assistance if you get ill.
- Regular physical activity is of great benefit for people with diabetes, so its important to exercise a few days a week at home.
With the rising number of diabetes coronavirus patients it is crucial to be informed and alert about the latest developments. Practicing good hygiene, social distancing to lower down the risk of infection, following a healthy diabetic diet to boost your immunity, keeping a check on your blood sugar levels, taking proper medication and precautions along with following government guidelines, is our only shot at surviving this pandemic!