COVID-19 and Other Viral Illnesses

What is COVID-19? 

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause respiratory illnesses. Most of them cause illness in animals, but seven known types of coronavirus cause illness in humans. SARS-CoV-2 is one of those viruses—it causes the illness COVID-19.  SARS-CoV-2 is related to other coronaviruses that cause illness in humans such as those that cause SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome).

What are the symptoms? 

People who are confirmed to have COVID-19 have exhibited mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, coughing and shortness of breath. According to the WHO, some people may experience aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea—though these symptoms usually develop gradually after the onset of the illness.

What should I do to protect myself? 

Everyone has a part to play in minimizing the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak in Canada: Good hygiene and social distancing are crucial at this time to protect yourself and others. The Public Health Agency of Canada has posted key recommendations, including: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces; avoid crowded places and non-essential gatherings; remain at least 2M away from others if you must go out; limit contact with people at high risk, such as those who are older or in poor health. Since COVID-19 is so new, there is not yet a vaccine, nor are there medications to treat it, although hundreds of clinical trials are already planned, or in progress. 

What Should Someone with T1D Know about Having a Viral Illness?
1. Having T1D does NOT make you more susceptible to developing COVID-19.
2. Monitor your blood glucose and ketones more than usual.
3. It is more important than ever to continue a normal schedule of medications

4. Stock your cabinets with items that will help you keep up your carbohydrate intake in a healthy way

5. Be prepared, just in case