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CORONAVIRUS AND DIABETES. WHAT’S THE RELATIONSHIP?

    It is one of the main topics in the news at the moment and has plagued the entire world with a possible global epidemic. But after all, what is the real danger of the coronavirus and its relationship with diabetes?

    What is coronavirus?

    The name coronavirus refers to a family of viruses that cause respiratory infections. The corona virus family is already well known to humanity, with the first cases recorded in 1937. In 1965, the virus was described as coronavirus due to the profile on microscopy that looked like a crown ¹.

    Most people become infected with coronaviruses throughout their lives, with children being the most prone to contagion of the most common types, such as alpha coronavirus 229E and NL63 and beta coronavirus OC43, HKU1².

    woman with diabetes checking her blood sugar

    New coronavirus (COVID-19)

    The new coronavirus agent is the newest relative of this family, being discover in the city of Wuhan in China on the last day of last year (12/31/2019).

    The new variation has been commonly called the new coronavirus, but on February 11 of that year, the World Health Organization (WHO) adopted the nomenclature COVID-19 as its official name. The acronyms refer to the terms “corona”, “virus”, “disease” and the year of discovery “2019”. This measure aims to remove any geographic stigmatization for the new disease ³.

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    The numbers

    Although most records are concentrated in mainland China, other countries in Southeast Asia, Oceania, Europe, Africa and North America have already confirmed the disease in their territories.

    In Brazil, the first case was confirm in the state of São Paulo/SP of a 61-year-old man who was in Italy between February 9 and 21.

    Contagion and main symptoms

    There is still no exact confirmation of how the first contact with the virus began. The most accepted hypothesis is that the contagion took place through the ingestion of meat from wild animals at the municipal market in Wuhan, China.

    In any case, as with most infections, the main ways of spreading an epidemic are through direct contact with contaminated surfaces or close proximity to infected people or animals.

    The main symptoms of coronavirus are respiratory symptoms similar to a common cold, such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing . However, the new coronavirus (COVID-19) still needs more studies and investigations to better characterize the signs of the disease.

    No less important is the incubation period. According to recent research, it is possible for the virus to remain in the body for up to 14 days without showing signs. This fact makes the control of the epidemic highly worrying. This is because the infectious agent could be transmit by individuals apparently without symptoms.

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    Coronavirus and diabetes

    Coronavirus (Covid-19) is the complicating element of Diabetes.

    Among the cases of deaths due to infection, a fact that draws attention is that most victims belonged to some risk group, or already had some degree of health impairment . This is the case of the elderly over 60 years (80% of deaths), people with pre-existing diseases (75%), or individuals with a chronic health condition.

    Furthermore, in China, about 20% of infected people admitted to hospitals had diabetes. Among the deaths, up to 10% are from patients with diabetes, according to the China Health Commission (NHC).

    It should be note that so far there is no scientific proof that correlates diabetes and coronavirus. What is worth noting is that uncontrolled diabetes (or any other chronic health condition) can weaken the immune system. This in turn increases the risk of complications such as infections and viruses.

    “In China, about 20% of infected people admitted to hospitals had diabetes. Among the deaths, up to 10% are from patients with diabetes.”

    How to prevent

    There are some simple measures that can help you prevent yourself against coronavirus. Are they:

    • Carry out good management of diabetes;
    • Have healthy habits, such as a balanced diet to keep immunity high;
    • Stay hydrated;
    • Wash your hands frequently with alcohol or soap and running water;
    • Avoid contact with people coming from regions with confirmed cases of the coronavirus;
    • Keep the vaccination schedule up to date to strengthen the immune system;
    • In areas with confirmed cases, avoid consumption of raw or undercooked meats to avoid cross-contamination;
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