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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

 

While it is still tail-end of flu season, we now also have Coronavirus (COVID-19) circulating in Canada and around the world.  This ‘novel’ virus, (meaning it is a new virus that no one has any anti-bodies or immunity to help minimize the severity of how it might affect us), is likely to have more impact on those who may be older in age or already be living with a chronic disease (diabetes, cancer, heart disease, lung disease, etc.).  The virus can cause people to develop mild to severe symptoms including a cough, fever, and difficulty breathing, very similar to the common cold and ‘flu’.

 

Be prepared for illness should you be exposed, similar to how you would manage a bout of the flu.  Illness typically causes blood sugars to rise so if you take insulin, make necessary adjustments as required, and increase the frequency of checking your blood sugar if you feel unwell.  Review your sick-day management strategies for how to manage your other medications if you become dehydrated or are unable to keep food and fluids down.

 

 

Take Steps to Be Prepared:

  • have a 2-4 week supply of your necessary medications or insulin on hand
  • make sure you have re-fills on prescriptions to avoid unnecessary trips to doctor
  • have a supply of sugary and non-sugary fluids (juices, water, broth, electrolyte drinks, etc), glucose tablets on hand
  • have glucagon & ketone strips (if Type 1) available
  • have an adequate supply of blood sugar test strips for your meter
  • have a 2 week supply of canned food, and other non-perishable items in the cupboard so you have the food you need to manage your blood sugar should you have to self-isolate or quarantine due to the demands of your workplace or travel exposure, or your own symptoms

 

 

Take Steps to Prevent Transmission:

  • frequent hand washing with soap & water
  • avoid contact with people who show signs of a respiratory illness (sneezing, coughing, etc)
  • cough/sneeze into your elbow/clothing
  • consider limiting travel and social gatherings where you could be exposed to the virus unknowingly
  • avoid unnecessary trips to doctors’ offices or hospitals where the risk of exposure may be greater, and call ahead if you do have symptoms yourself to see how the office is handling people who may be showing signs of the virus to minimize risk to others

 

Please visit the following links for more information:

 

Diabetes Canada - includes links to Health Canada’s advice regarding COVID-19 precautions

https://www.diabetes.ca/media-room/news/novel-coronavirus-(covid-19)-and-diabetes--what-you-should-know

 

Diabetes Research Institute

https://www.diabetesresearch.org/coronavirus-and-diabetes?srctid=1&erid=6002696&trid=6c12c1c6-e46f-48cb-a930-6ea3b77fd5e6

 

If you are feeling sick:

 

The goal of current strategies in place by the government and healthcare are designed to slow the spread of the virus to ensure that those who may require hospitalization will have access to the care they need.  The majority of Canadians will not experience serious illness.

 

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