Why Diabetes + COVID-19 Is So Dangerous

Living with diabetes—a disease in which the body doesn’t properly process glucose, or sugar, from food—has always been complicated.

But the arrival of the coronavirus has multiplied those challenges. As a result, many of the estimated 34 million Americans with diabetes (about 1 in 10 people) and 88 million with prediabetes (about 1 in 3 adults) may now be fighting for their lives in more ways than one.

Testing for both COVID-19 and diabetes is available at no cost to Free Clinic Patients. Call us at 540-948-3667 to schedule an appointment.

Why Diabetes + COVID-19 Is So Dangerous

In this special report on diabetes + COVID-19, Consumer Reports says people with diabetes and those who are at risk for it are far more likely to experience severe complications if they become ill with the coronavirus.

The Truth About Prediabetes

Just over a third of American adults have prediabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That means their body does not respond normally to the hormone insulin.

Prediabetes hikes the risk of not only diabetes but also heart disease and stroke. Yet many people with pre­diabetes don’t know they have it, in part because it often has no obvious symptoms.

People younger than 45 who are overweight and have at least one other risk factor—such as high blood pressure or cholesterol, a family history of diabetes, or a sedentary lifestyle—should be screened, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and other medical organizations. If results are normal, retest every three years; for borderline high (prediabetes), every one to two years.

Madison Free Clinic patients are eligible for no-cost diabetes testing and treatment, including help with prescription medications if necessary. Simply call us at 540-948-3667 to request an appointment.

The Truth About Prediabetes

Consumer Reports reveals the truth about prediabetes, which hikes the risk of not only diabetes but also heart disease and stroke. Yet many people with pre­diabetes don’t know they have it.

Airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned yesterday that the coronavirus spreads more readily than it had previously stated, after briefly posting and then removing a draft of the same advisory last month. The new guidance warns that in indoor settings with poor ventilation, contagion can spread via microscopic aerosol particles well beyond the 6-foot social distance many Americans have been observing.

A group of infectious-disease physicians and aerosol experts, in a letter published Monday in the journal Science, more strongly emphasized the airborne potential of the virus than the CDC did in its update.

COVID-19 testing is available free of charge for Free Clinic patients. Please call us at 540-948-3667 for more information.

CDC says airborne transmission plays a role in coronavirus spread in a long-awaited update after a website error last month

The update officially acknowledges growing evidence that under certain conditions, people farther than six feet apart can become infected by tiny droplets and particles that float in the air for minutes and hours, and that they play a role in the pandemic.

“COVID Toes” and Other Unusual Symptoms You Need to Know About

The majority of people with COVID toes — which Freeman likens to chilblains (also called pernio), an inflammatory skin condition that often occurs after exposure to very cold temperatures — don’t experience other symptoms of a coronavirus infection and don’t require hospitalization for care. “Many patients are developing these toe lesions well after their infection, or they’re otherwise completely asymptomatic, except for the toes,” she adds.

The Covid-19 virus can linger on objects for as little as a few hours or as long as a couple days, depending on the surface. Here’s the research.

The Covid-19 virus can linger on objects for as little as a few hours or as long as a couple of days, depending on the surface. Here’s the research.

Children are not immune

In the last two weeks of July, nearly 100,000 children in the United States tested positive for the coronavirus, according to data from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.

The speed and the scale of the infections — dozens of countries have not yet recorded 100,000 cases in total — further complicate the already daunting issue of reopening schools. In Georgia, Indiana and other states, some schools that reopened have already closed down again after new outbreaks emerged.

Recent research suggests that children can carry at least as much of the virus in their noses and throats as adults do, even if they have only mild or moderate symptoms. That has prompted fears that students who become ill at school may spread the virus to their older relatives.

But it’s not just older people who are at risk — in some rare cases, a child’s health can be severely affected. Nearly 600 young people in the U.S., from infants to 20-year-olds, have developed an inflammatory syndrome linked to Covid-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. Most of the children required intensive care.

“I fear that there has been this sense that kids just won’t get infected or don’t get infected in the same way as adults and that, therefore, they’re almost like a bubbled population,” Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease expert at the University of Minnesota, told The Times in July.

“There will be a transmission,” he said. “What we have to do is accept that now and include that in our plans.”

Pinning hopes on the vaccine is not the right coronavirus strategy, expert says

While many hold out hopes for a vaccine to end the epidemic, one expert warns that vaccines are just part of the solution. Mask-wearing, shutting down some businesses, limiting large gatherings, and finding potential treatments will continue to be critical as a vaccine is still months away, and may not be completely effective even when there is one.

The coronavirus has mutated

The coronavirus has mutated since it started spreading late last year, and a variant known as “G” is now dominant across the United States and the world. “The mutation doesn’t appear to make people sicker, but a growing number of scientists worry that it has made the virus more contagious,” our science desk wrote. Read the story to learn what makes coronavirus G different from the original version — and potentially more dangerous.

WHO temporarily pauses studying hydroxychloroquine due to safety concerns

The World Health Organization has temporarily halted studying hydroxychloroquine as a potential Covid-19 treatment in its Solidarity Trial due to safety concerns, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a briefing in Geneva on Monday.

The decision was made after an observational study was published in the medical journal The Lancet on Friday, which described how seriously ill Covid-19 patients who were treated with hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine were more likely to die.