Type 2 diabetes: Could having the condition make you more susceptible to the coronavirus?

Type 2 diabetes is a disease that occurs when the blood glucose, also known as blood sugar, is too high. Blood glucose is the main source of energy and comes mainly from the food one eats. In type 2 diabetes, the body doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t use insulin well. A person can develop type 2 diabetes at any stage in their lives and could be a lifelong condition. Could having type 2 diabetes make you more susceptible to catching the coronavirus? Experts offer their opinion on the matter.

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The coronavirus has caused widespread panic around the world.

The virus is caused by a member of the coronavirus family that has never been encountered before.

Like other coronaviruses, the virus originated from animals and can cause pneumonia.

Is there any link between type 2 diabetes and the coronavirus?

Leading health experts agree that having type 2 diabetes increases the risk of complications following infection with the coronavirus.

Most vulnerable of catching the coronavirus include the elderly, as well as people with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory illness, high blood pressure and cancer.

Diabetes UK recently updated their information pages on its website after a bombardment of calls asking for advice about managing the condition and the coronavirus.

Diabetes UK said on their website: “Reports do suggest that coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms and complications in people with diabetes, as well as in older people, and those with long term conditions such as cancer or chronic lung disease.

“While the risk of getting coronavirus in the UK remains low, if you have diabetes and you become unwell for any reason, it’s important that you follow sick day rules, and that you closely monitor your blood sugar.”

Dan Howarth, Diabetes UK Head of Care added: “People with diabetes who don’t experience symptoms and have recently travelled to any of the affected areas need to follow information on the NHS and the gov.uk websites, which are updated regularly and are the most up-to-date source of information available.”

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Dr Mike Skinner, a virologist expert, spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk and said: “I think all of us, if not, a large proportion of us are likely to be infected.

“A very small proportion will be at severe risk and could potentially die.

“The people who know better than me say it’s less likely to be respiratory condition that predisposes them to more severe outcomes which was the case with H1N1.

“It seems to be more diabetes and high blood pressure that seem to be some of the predisposing factors coming forward.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) added: “People of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus.

“Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.”

WHO advises people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves from the virus, for example, by following good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene.

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