3/10/2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Diabetes

Otherwise healthy individuals with controlled diabetes are unlikely to be at greater risk to get COVID-19. However, managing diabetes is harder with any type of infection. An illness/infection in a person with diabetes can cause blood sugar elevation and raise the risk of complications.

The Berrie Center's recommendations are as follows:

  • Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your mouth/eyes/nose.
  • People with diabetes should stay up to date with vaccinations, including the flu vaccine.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Make sure you have a month of supplies, medications and ketone strips available.
  • Avoid big crowds.
  • Elderly patients should take extra precautions.
  • If you are sick, call your primary doctor to discuss the symptoms.
  • Keeping blood glucose well-controlled may reduce the risk of complications should you become ill.
  • Any severe illness/infection increases the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis, especially in those with type 1 diabetes. If you become sick, check blood glucose frequently, increase your insulin doses as needed, and stay well-hydrated. Do NOT stop your insulin even if you are eating very little or vomiting. Make sure you are stocked with both carbohydrate and non-carbohydrate containing beverages as well as non-perishable food at home.


For more information:
• Follow the guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. This site will also provide up to date information on travel restrictions. 
• Refer to the Columbia University Irving Medical Center web site for patients