COVID-19 Q&A: Diabetes
At the University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus, our experts at the Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology understand that you may have many questions about how the novel coronavirus virus (COVID-19) may affect you.
This is especially true for those that have an underlying condition, such as diabetes, which can have serious consequences for someone with the COVID-19
How can diabetes, as an underlying condition, have serious consequences for someone with the COVID-19?
People with diabetes are not at higher risk of getting COVID-19, but may have more serious complications if they do get it. 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. Learn about the symptoms of coronavirus.
What special steps should people with diabetes take to prevent getting COVID-19?
Be very careful with social interactions and avoid all social contact which is not necessary. At this point the only prevention strategy is isolation. Read more about how you can protect yourself from the virus.
What should they do if they think they have it?
Since widespread testing has not been readily available, treating mild coronavirus symptoms at home if mild symptoms is best. Call your healthcare provider and find out where and how to get tested if possible. Drink plenty of fluids and make sure you have enough supplies to last several weeks at home. Do not wait till last minute for refills. Also you can call UMMS Nurse Call Line, if you have symptoms.
How should people with diabetes approach going to the doctor, getting check-ups or treatments?
Thankfully 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 healthcare provider remotely. Do not visit the office if you are having fevers, cough, etc.
How can patents make sure they have enough insulin supply?
Check insulin supplies and make sure refill requests are made early. If need be, can ask for exemption to get additional emergency supplies of insulin, medications, testing supplies to have enough in store if unable to go out for next few weeks.