Diabetes and COVID-19
With the school year quickly approaching we understand patients with diabetes and their families have questions about returning to school/work during a pandemic. While we do not have specific data about people with monogenic forms of diabetes, the experience of young people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes has been encouraging. We would expect people with most forms of monogenic diabetes to be at no greater risk than those with other forms of diabetes, unless they have other medical complications.
Many of us have heard reports from the CDC or elsewhere that people with diabetes may be at higher risk for severe symptoms from COVID-19; however, this has been seen only in OLDER individuals (especially over 60 yrs), who most often have type 2 diabetes, as well as other medical problems. To date, studies show that children and adolescents with diabetes are at no greater risk for getting COVID-19 than their peers who do not have diabetes. Furthermore, if they do get COVID-19, they generally experience a mild course of the illness, similar to young people who do not have diabetes.
As with any illness, it is important to monitor glucose levels and ketones. It is important to keep in mind that this virus is new and we are still learning how it affects children with diabetes.
Should my child choose in-person or virtual school?
Many schools are making their plans for learning in the fall. Options include in-person learning, virtual learning and blended learning. The decision to have in-person or virtual school will be made by public health experts, state regulations and local school leaders. If your school offers an in-person or blended model, plans will most likely include wearing masks during the school day, keeping desks three to six feet apart, temperature checks, frequent hand washing and limiting travel between classrooms. In-person learning offers many benefits for children including a schedule, interaction between teacher and student, socialization and other activities. Benefits of online learning include learning at your own pace, different learning platforms and a comfortable learning environment (home).
What if my child has symptoms of COVID-19?
If you suspect your child may have COVID-19, follow-up with their primary care provider. If your child tests positive for COVID-19, it is important to closely monitor glucose levels and ketones. Follow your usual sick day guidelines for illness and ketone management. Keep in contact with your child’s primary care provider and seek urgent medical attention if your child has trouble breathing or is experiencing severe symptoms. Contact your diabetes provider if your child develops low or high glucose levels or has persistent or high ketones.
Ways to limit the spread of COVID-19:
• Frequent hand washing or use of hand sanitizer.
• Wear a mask when outside of your home.
• Practice social distancing.
• Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow.
• Avoid touching your face.
• Avoid being around people who are sick.
• Follow local and state regulations.
COVID, diabetes, and back to school resources:
Please let us know if you have any additional questions by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay well all!