According to the CDC reports, “coronaviruses” are a large family of viruses common in animal species, and only rarely do they infect and spread among humans. That’s happened here with this officially named COVID-19 virus that started late last year with an outbreak in Wuhan, China, linked to a market selling seafood and live animals. Unfortunately, it’s gone global. The World Health Organization has declared the Coronavirus outbreak to be a public health emergency of international concern.
COVID-19 virus signs
Common signs are typical flu-like symptoms like fever, tiredness, cough, breathing difficulties, and muscle aches. They usually start within 3-7 days of exposure to the virus. However, in some cases, it has taken up to 14 days for symptoms to appear.
Unfortunately, people of all ages can be infected. More than 80% of cases, COVID-19 virus is mild, with minimal flu-like symptoms. Some have not shown symptoms or only very mild symptoms, more like a common cold. Fortunately, most of the people who have caught the virus did not need to be hospitalised for supportive care. However, approximately 15% of cases COVID-19 has been severe and in around 5% of cases, it has led to critical illness. Around 98% of people infected to date have survived.
We know that coronaviruses can cause more severe symptoms and complications in older people, people with long term conditions such as cancer or chronic lung disease. Also, people with diabetes may be more vulnerable to the severe effects of the virus.
What can people with diabetes do?
If you have diabetes, it is important to take precautions to avoid the virus if possible. To do that:
- Wash hands regularly.
- Try to avoid touching your face before you have washed and dried your hands.
- Clean and disinfect any objects and surfaces that are touched frequently.
- When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue
- Try to avoid contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing.
- Don’t share food, glasses, towels, tools etc.
- Avoid unnecessary travel
- Stay at home If you are ill.
- Pay extra attention to your glucose control.
- Make sure you will be able to correct the situation if your blood glucose drops suddenly.
- Make sure you have a good supply of the diabetes medications you need. Think about what you would need if you had to quarantine yourself for a few weeks.
- Prepare in case you get ill.