Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2: What Precautions Should People with Diabetes Take?

According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections are currently steadily increasing in Germany and worldwide. For most patients, the course of COVID-19 has so far been mild, and the health risk for the German population is currently estimated to be moderate, depending on the region. However, the risk of severe disease progression increases with age and the presence of pre-existing conditions, for example chronic underlying diseases, which include diabetes mellitus. Against this background, the German Diabetes Association (DDG) recommends maintaining a stable blood glucose level in order to reduce the risk of infection as well as the risk of complications in case of infection.

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Is there an increased risk of infection for people with diabetes?
The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is mainly transmitted via a droplet infection. The incubation period describes the time from infection to the onset of the disease and is on average five to six days, maximum 14 days. Similar to flu viruses, the course of the disease can vary widely. Symptoms include cough, runny nose, sore throat and fever, and in some cases, diarrhea.

Based on the findings to date, the DDG assumes that for people with diabetes who have well-controlled blood glucose levels and no concomitant or secondary diseases, the risk is not higher than that posed by a conventional flu virus. However, if one or more diabetes-related concomitant and secondary diseases such as cardiovascular disease or organ damage are present, the risk of a severe course of COVID-19 is increased. DDG advises these persons to be particularly careful: large crowds, public transport and regions with known SARS-CoV-2 infections should be avoided due to the increased risk of infection.

What measures can reduce the risk of infection?
Avoid – as far as possible - all nonessential contacts with other people outside your own household.

To protect yourself from infection, it is important for both people with diabetes and people without diabetes to follow the recommended hygiene measures: The risk of infection can be significantly reduced by washing your hands thoroughly, observing coughing and sneezing etiquette and avoiding shaking hands, large crowds and close contact (that is,  maintaining a distance of at least 1 to 2 meters).

A compilation of the recommended hygiene measures of the RKI can be found here! (in German)

Further information offers (in German)
The RKI provides general, daily situation reports and coronavirus case numbers as well as a current risk assessment for the disease COVID-19:

The  Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) provides additional information on the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 as well as health education videos and hygiene tips:

The German Federal Foreign Office provides travelers with country-specific travel and safety information.

Sources (in German):