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If you’re worried about COVID-19, don’t panic. Although in general, T1D patients have an increased risk of viral infections, new studies show having T1D does NOT make you more susceptible to contracting COVID-19. Although children with T1D can catch the virus, they usually have mild symptoms. Meanwhile, two new studies show that adults with T1D who get COVID-19 have a three to four times higher risk of severe illness and hospitalization.
If you do test positive for COVID-19:
- Continue a normal schedule of medications.
- Carefully monitor your blood glucose and ketones more often than usual, as often as every four hours.
- The virus could make it harder to manage blood glucose levels and therefore, risk for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).
- Those at greatest risk are people with consistently elevated blood-sugar levels and those with a second comorbidity such as obesity or heart, kidney, or lung disease.
- Be aware of any DKA signs such as flu-like symptoms, dehydration, and a fruity smell to the breath.
- If you have the symptoms of DKA contact your healthcare provider immediately.
Given the higher risks of severe illness, it’s important for people with T1D to get the COVID vaccine and booster as soon as they are eligible.
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