Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. This pandemic has created havoc everywhere.
There is not enough data to show whether people with diabetes are more likely to get COVID-19 than the general population. However, it is believed that patients with COVID-19 disease having comorbidities, such as hypertension or diabetes mellitus, are more likely to develop a more severe course and progression of the disease. Diabetic patients have increased morbidity and mortality rates and have been linked to more hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) admissions in this pandemic.
Diabetic patients have a higher chance of experiencing serious complications from COVID-19 as they have a compromised immune system as compared with a patient without any comorbidity. The compromised immune system makes it harder to fight the virus and likely leading to a longer recovery period. Older people are also at higher risk.
The risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 is likely to be lower if diabetes is well-managed. When a diabetic patient does not manage his diabetes well and experiences fluctuations in blood sugar levels, he or she is more likely at a risk for several diabetes-related complications. Moreover, any extra comorbidity with diabetes could worsen the probability of getting seriously ill from COVID-19, like other viral infections, because the body’s immunity (ability to fight off an infection) is compromised.
Viral infections can also increase inflammation, or internal swelling, in diabetics. Diabetics, when affected by a viral infection, are more prone to DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis). It is commonly experienced by people with type 1 diabetes. Due to DKA, it becomes a task to manage fluid intake and electrolyte levels- which is important in managing sepsis. Sepsis and septic shock are some of the more serious complications seen in COVID-19 patients.
Patients with comorbidities such as diabetes should take all necessary precautions to avoid getting infected with SARS CoV-2 and if got infected one should control diabetes very well, so as to prevent complications of Covid-19.