Woman sticking her finger to check blood glucose

As the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold, the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) continues to care for the health and well-being of those with underlying conditions, such as diabetes.

An important part of staying healthy is getting accurate health information for your self-care. The medical professionals at UMMS have created these resources about managing your medical conditions during the pandemic.

Diabetes and Coronavirus Risk

"People with diabetes are not at higher risk of getting COVID-19, but may have more serious complications if they do get it," explains Kashif Munir, MD, medical director of the UM Center For Diabetes and Endocrinology at Midtown.

"We have information from other countries that complications and death rates are higher in people with diabetes who get infected. Also, the infection can lead to more erratic glucose levels."

How to Avoid Infection

To protect yourself against coronavirus, practice social distancing. Be very careful with social interactions and avoid all social contact that is not necessary. At this point, the only prevention strategy is isolation.

If You Think You Have Coronavirus

Since widespread coronavirus testing has not been readily available, quarantining at home if you have mild symptoms is best. Call your healthcare provider and find out where and how to get tested if possible.

To care for the coronavirus at home, drink plenty of fluids and make sure you have enough supplies to last several weeks at home. Do not wait until the last minute for refills.

Routine Diabetes Care

Many people with diabetes have stable control and routine visits can be deferred. Many practices are now engaging in telehealth and data-sharing technology may allow evaluation and interpretation of glucose patterns by your healthcare provider remotely. You can use MyPortfolio to contact your UMMS provider.

Do not visit the office if you are having fevers, cough or other symptoms that relate to coronavirus. See UMMS policies about routine appointments during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ensure You Have Insulin and Supplies

Check insulin supplies and make sure refill requests are made early. If need be, you can ask for an exemption to get additional emergency supplies of insulin, medications and testing supplies to have enough in store if you are unable to go out for the next few weeks.

Find questions and answers from University of Maryland Medical Center experts in our COVID-19 Q&A series.