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).
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):
- Ärzteblatt.de: Besondere Achtsamkeit bei Diabetes nur bei Begleiterkrankungen erforderlich. [Special Precautions for Diabetes Only Necessary If Comorbidities Are Present]. Article from March 11, 2020
- German Diabetes Association : Neues Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2: Kein erhöhtes Infektionsrisiko für gesunde Diabetespatienten. DDG rät zu einer guten Blutzuckereinstellung und empfohlenen Hygienemaßnahmen. [Novel SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus: No increased risk of infection for healthy diabetes patients. The DDG advises maintaining good blood glucose control and following recommended hygiene measures]. Press release from March 2, 2020
- Robert Koch-Institute: Risikobewertung zu COVID-19. [Risk Assessment on COVID-19]. (e.g. retrieved: March 16, 2020)
- Robert Koch-Institute: Täglicher Lagebericht des RKI zur Coronavirus-Krankheit-2019 (COVID-19). [Daily Situation Report of the RKI on COVID-19 Cases] (e.g. retrieved: March 16, 2020)