Coronavirus and diabetes
Wednesday, 4 March 2020
There is a swirl of rumour and fact about coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community.
For people living with diabetes, and others with chronic conditions, it’s important to know and act on the facts regarding this new virus.
Coronavirus is a respiratory illness and symptoms range from a mild cough to pneumonia. Some people will recover easily, and others may get sick very quickly.
In Australia, the people most at risk of getting the virus have travelled to China or Iran recently, or been in contact with someone who has the illness.
It can be spread from person to person. Symptoms include fever, coughing, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath.
People with diabetes are more susceptible to developing severe disease if infected.
Our community is being advised by the Federal Department of Health to take extra care with hand hygiene, social distancing and cough/sneeze etiquette.
The latest update from the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) advises us they will continue to operate as usual. They advise people living with diabetes to use and order medicines in your usual way.
The virus is spread through close contact with an infected person; contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze; or touching objects such as doorknobs or tables that have droplets from an infected person. The germs can then be transmitted through touching your mouth or face.
Queensland Health is advising that surgical masks are only helpful if you have the virus to prevent it spreading to others.
If you’re well, you do not need to wear a surgical mask.
All Australians are being asked to:
- Wash your hands with soap and water and before eating or drinking
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with a tissue or flexed elbow
- Avoid close contact with others
If you need medical advice and your GP can’t speak with you, ring Queensland Health on 13 HEALTH (1343 2584).
In line with our usual advice at the beginning of the cold and flu season, it’s a good time to review and update your sick day management plan.
Here’s are links to the form:
Diabetes Queensland recommends you get flu and pneumonia vaccinations when they are made available (which will be soon).
We will continue to update you if we receive further specific information for people with diabetes from the Federal or State Health Departments regarding coronavirus.