As the confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to climb, the most vulnerable members of the community are being asked to exercise extreme diligence. Those with diabetes should take special care to minimize their risk of infection by observing the recommended preventative measures.
Diabetes and COVID-19
Those living with diabetes are susceptible to more severe complications and symptoms from COVID-19. Italy’s National Institute of Health released a report on March 17 detailing patient characteristics within the country. Diabetes was one of the most common conditions amongst COVID-19 patients who died: 35.5% had the illness. Tom Hanks has type 2 diabetes, and both he and his wife were recently diagnosed with COVID-19.
If someone with diabetes contracts COVID-19, treatment difficulties arise from the fact that such individuals have compromised immune systems. Those with a compromised immune system are not able to fight off infections as effectively as the general population. Additionally, viruses may flourish in someone with diabetes due to high blood glucose levels.
It’s important to note that there is not enough proof to suggest that people with diabetes are more likely to contract COVID-19. It is, however, proven that people with diabetes who do contract the disease are more likely to suffer from significant complications. No available information suggests that there is a different level of risk between those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
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How Can I Minimize My Chances of Infection?
COVID-19 can be contracted from other people who have the virus. Ths infection can be spread via:
- Droplets released when an infected person coughs or sneezes
- Touching a contaminated surface then touching your mouth, eyes or nose
To help minimize your exposure and therefore reduce your chances of infection:
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly
- Avoid touching your face, specifically your eyes, nose and mouth, especially if you have come in contact with nearby surfaces
- Practice social distancing by avoiding contact with those who are ill or those exhibiting symptoms of illness. This includes staying home and avoiding unnecessary travel outside of the home
- Sneeze/cough directly into a tissue. If a tissue is not available, sneeze into your bent elbow.
- Monitor blood glucose levels, as infections can cause glucose levels to rise.
If you have diabetes, be sure to keep records of your essential information, including phone numbers to your doctor’s office and your pharmacy, a history of your blood glucose readings, etc. You should also ensure that you have an ample supply of medication on hand. PocketPills will send your medication directly to your home every month, so you’ll never have to worry about being without the medicine and supplies that you need to manage your health.
If you have specific questions about COVID-19, your health, or your current medication, please reach out to your doctor or healthcare provider.