A Turkish medical expert said on World Diabetes Day that people living with diabetes are not more likely to catch the novel coronavirus, but the virus can cause more severe symptoms and complications in diabetic patients.
“During the COVID-19 epidemic, diabetic patients are isolated and more severely affected than the general population, which is closely related to blood sugar control. If glucose levels are poor, not only COVID-19, but all infectious diseases will cause severe symptoms with a slow recovery rate, ”Proc. Dr. Hasan Ilkova, head of the Turkish Diabetes Association, told Anadolu Agency.
Ilkova, who is an academic at the University of Istanbul’s Serapraspa Medical Faculty, emphasized that the course of COVID-19 will not be different in diabetic patients with good glucose levels.
Highlighting the importance of blood tests for HbA1c, Ilkova stated that more than 7% of measurements increase the risk of long-term complications.
He advised diabetics to adjust their glucose levels in consultation with their doctors without causing low sugars during the epidemic.
Underlining that diabetic patients should not be extra concerned about catching the virus if they manage the disease well, he said that they must follow general hygiene rules to prevent the spread of the virus.
“They should keep in mind that they should strictly follow masks, social distances and handwashing warnings to reduce the risk of contamination,” he said.
Worldwide, COVID-19 has claimed more than 1.3 million lives in 191 countries and territories since it was first detected in Wuhan, China in December.
The United States, India and Brazil are currently the most affected countries.
According to data compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University, more than 52.41 million cases worldwide have recovered over 34.47 million.
Diabetes nurses play an important role
To mark World Diabetes Day, Ilkova stated that various activities on diabetes have been organized in many countries by non-governmental organizations that are members of the International Diabetes Federation.
Reminding that this year’s theme is “The Nurse and Diabetes”, he said that as the number of people suffering from diabetes continues to increase worldwide, the role of nurses and other health workers would become increasingly important in the management of the disease is.
“People living with diabetes need support to understand how to live with diabetes and how to manage diabetes. In this regard, diabetes nurses play an important role in psychologically supporting patients and educating them on correct diabetes management.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar.
The WHO said that around 422 million people worldwide have diabetes, who live in low and middle income countries and diabetes is the direct cause of death of 1.6 million people.
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