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Coronavirus: Are diabetics more prone to COVID-19?

The CDC has determined that COVID-19 is a serious public health threat—and older adults and people with serious chronic medical conditions, including diabetes, are at a higher risk of experiencing complications and getting very sick from it.

People with diabetes do face a higher chance of experiencing serious complications from COVID-19.

In general, people with diabetes are more likely to experience severe symptoms and complications when infected with a virus. If diabetes is well-managed, the risk of getting severely sick from COVID-19 is about the same as the general population.

When people with diabetes do not manage their diabetes well and experience fluctuating blood sugars, they are generally at risk for a number of diabetes-related complications. Having heart disease or other complications in addition to diabetes could worsen the chance of getting seriously ill from COVID-19, like other viral infections, because your body’s ability to fight off an infection is compromised.

Viral infections can also increase inflammation, or internal swelling, in people with diabetes. This is also caused by above-target blood sugars, and both could contribute to more severe complications.

When sick with a viral infection, people with diabetes do face an increased risk of DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis), commonly experienced by people with type 1 diabetes. DKA can make it challenging to manage your fluid intake and electrolyte levels—which is important in managing sepsis. Sepsis and septic shock are some of the more serious complications that some people with COVID-19 have experienced.

Coronavirus-are-diabetics-more-prone-to-COVID-19-medihome

COVID-19 is different from the seasonal flu.

COVID-19 is proving to be a more serious illness than seasonal flu in everyone, including people with diabetes. All of the standard precautions to avoid infection that have been widely reported are even more important when dealing with this virus.

Recommended safety precautions are the same as for flu, such as frequent hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow. The CDC does not recommend the use of face masks by people who are not infected.

We encourage people with diabetes to follow the guidance of the CDC and to review how you manage sick days—preparing for a sick day can make it easier.

The risks are similar for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes

In general, we don’t know of any reason to think COVID-19 will pose a difference in risk between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. More important is that people with either type of diabetes vary in their age, complications and how well they have been managing their diabetes

People who already have diabetes-related health problems are likely to have worse outcomes if they contract COVID-19 than people with diabetes who are otherwise healthy, whichever type of diabetes they have.

What should people with diabetes do if they have the virus?

It is recommended that people with diabetes plan ahead of time what to do before they get ill. This includes having the contact information of their health care provider at hand and making sure to have an adequate stock of medications and supplies for monitoring blood glucose at home, so that they do not need to leave the house if they become ill. Peope with diabetes who are infected with the virus may see their glycaemic control deteriorate during the illness. They should practice the “Sick day rules” recommended for any stressful situation to improve their diabetes decompensation. They should also contact their health care provider immediately for advice on how to monitor their blood glucose, get adequate refills for medications (especially insulin) and what adjustments they may need to do in their medication or diet.

Sick day rules for people with diabetes

  • Keep hydrated
  • Monitor your blood glucose
  • Monitor your temperature
  • If you are on insulin, also monitor your ketone bodies
  • Follow your healthcare team recommendations

How can the virus be avoided?

Simple, sensible measures should be taken in every-day life in order to avoid infection from the virus:

  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based solution, especially before eating and after being in public.
  • Don’t share food, tools, glasses and towels.
  • Avoid close contact with those who are ill. If someone is visibly ill, coughing or sneezing, keep away.
  • If you get ill with respiratory symptoms, stay at home and notify others and your health care provider of the illness.
  • When sneezing or coughing, cover the nose and mouth with a tissue or with the crook of the elbow. Throw the tissue in the bin.
  • Avoid unprotected contact with wildlife and farm animals.

The World Health Organization recommends that people without respiratory symptoms do not need to wear a medical mask in the community, even if COVID-19 is prevalent in the area. Wearing a mask does not decrease the importance of other general measures to prevent infection, and it may result in unnecessary cost and supply problems.

Source: ADA, IDF

COVID-19 disease advice: When and how to use face mask

The use of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as face mask can reduce the spread of infection when used correctly and in the appropriate context. This may be recommended in workplaces where people are more likely to come in contact with the coronavirus disease.

When to use a mask

– If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection.

You should wear a face mask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office.

If you are not able to wear a face mask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then people who live with you should not stay in the same room with you, or they should wear a face mask if they enter your room.

– Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.

– Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

– If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.

How to put on, use, take off and dispose of a mask

– Before putting on a mask, clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

– Cover mouth and nose with mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.

– Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

– Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks.

– To remove the mask: remove it from behind (do not touch the front of mask); discard immediately in a closed bin; clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

Source: WHO

How to protect yourself from coronavirus?

World Health Organization recommends people take these simple precautions against coronavirus to reduce exposure and transmission

How does the coronavirus spread?

The Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak is a new illness and scientists are still assessing how it spreads from person to person, but similar viruses tend to spread via cough and sneeze droplets.

When an infected person coughs or sneezes, they release droplets of saliva or mucus. These droplets can fall on people in the vicinity and can be either directly inhaled or picked up on the hands then transferred when someone touches their face, causing infection. For flu, some hospital guidelines define exposure as being within six feet of an infected person who sneezes or coughs for 10 minutes or longer.

Stay six feet from infected individuals.

Viruses can also be spread through droplets landing on surfaces such as seats on buses or trains or desks in school. However, whether this is a main transmission route depends on how long viruses survive on surfaces – this can vary from hours to months.

There is anecdotal evidence that the virus can be spread by people before they have symptoms. Some other illnesses such as flu can be passed from one person to another before symptoms occur – but the extent to which this is happening with the Wuhan coronavirus is not well understood yet.

How to protect yourself and others

Wash your hands.

Wash your hands: wet your hands with clean, running water and apply soap. Lather your hands, including the backs, between your fingers, and under your nails and scrub for at least 20 seconds. Rinse.

Cover your mouth.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the bin and wash your hands. If you do not have a tissue to hand, cough or sneeze into your elbow rather than your hands.

Facemasks offer some protection.

Face masks offer some protection as they block liquid droplets. However, they do not block smaller aerosol particles that can pass through the material of the mask. The masks also leave the eyes exposed and there is evidence that some viruses can infect a person through the eyes.

Seek medical help.

Seek early medical help if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, and share your travel history with healthcare providers.

Avoid live animals.

If visiting live markets in affected areas avoid direct, unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces that have been in contact with animals.

Avoid raw foods.

If you are in an affected area avoid eating raw or under-cooked animal products and exercise care when handling raw meat, milk or animal organs to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods.

Quarantine yourself after travel from affected areas.

If you have returned from an affected area in China in the last two weeks, stay indoors and avoid contact with other people for 14 days. This means not going to work, school or public areas.

Seek medical advice before leaving home.

If you have returned from an infected area and develop a high temperature, cough, runny nose, sore throat or difficulty breathing do not leave your home until you have been given advice by a doctor.

Source: The Guardian