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Coronavirus: specific advice for people living with diabetes

Coronavirus: specific advice for people living with diabetes

To avoid catching or spreading Coronavirus

Coronaviruses can cause more severe symptoms and complications in people with diabetes, as well as in older people, and those with other long term conditions such as cancer or chronic lung disease.

 

If you have diabetes and start to feel unwell you need to follow the sick day rules for type 1 or type 2 and check your blood glucose frequently.If you have diabetes and you have symptoms such as a cough, high temperature and feeling short of breath, you need to continue taking your medication and use the NHS Inform online assessment tool or call the NHS 111 phone service.

It’s important not to go to your GP surgery, hospital or a pharmacy if you think you may have Coronavirus, please stay at home and use the NHS Inform online assessment tool or dial NHS 111 for further medical advice.

Do:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water frequently – wash for at least 20 seconds
  • Always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water isn’t available
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands
  • Try to avoid close contact with people that are unwell

 


  Don't:

  • Touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • Do not use pocket handkerchiefs as these are unhygienic, instead use single use tissues. 

 

If you have type 1 diabetes

  • Ensure you have enough glucose and ketone testing equipment
  • Be aware of you sick day rules provided by your diabetes educator team
  • Make sure you have a good stock of insulin pens, needles and any other medications you are prescribed
  • If you are an insulin pump user you should have insulin pens as a backup and a good supply of insulin pump consumables
  • Make sure your diabetes technical device  (insulin pump /continuous glucose monitor/Freestyle Libre device is in good working order and if you have any concerns phone the company who supplies your device directly to troubleshoot and arrange a replacement if necessary.


If you have type 2 diabetes

  • Ensure you have enough glucose testing equipment and if appropriate ketone testing strips (this might be if you have had your diabetes for a long time or have had ketones in the past). Ketones are uncommon in type 2 but remain a risk if glucose is high for a significant time &/or during illness. 
  • Make sure you have a good stock of your medications, orals tablets &/or injectable therapies. 
  • Be aware of you sick day rules provided by your diabetes educator team

 

What is social distancing?

Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

They are:

  1. Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough;
  2. Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible;
  3. Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Please refer to employer guidance for more information;
  4. Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs
  5. Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.
  6. Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services.
     

Everyone should be trying to follow these measures as much as is pragmatic. For those who are over 70, have an underlying health condition or are pregnant, we strongly advise you to follow the above measures as much as you can, and to significantly limit your face-to-face interaction with friends and family if possible. This advice is likely to be in place for some weeks.

For the most up-to-date advice then keep checking the UK government, NHS Inform and NHS websites.

Last updated: 19/03/2020

Source: MyDiabetes

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