COVID-19 and diabetes
As we are all deeply aware of COVID-19, the pandemic facing the global community, Diabetes Canada is committed to sharing accurate and up-to-date information and credible resources. People living with diabetes and caregivers are especially vulnerable in this difficult and challenging time and Diabetes Canada is here to continue to offer support.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
People living with diabetes, especially those with poor glycemic control have an increased risk for some infections. Coronavirus (COVID-19) results in a respiratory infection that causes patients to develop mild to severe symptoms including a cough, fever, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19.
Ask the experts
You understandably have a lot of questions about diabetes and COVID-19. We asked what you wanted to know about diabetes and COVID-19, and you told us. Watch this video to hear from expert physicians, advocates and patient groups. To view past videos, click here.
Public health agencies in Canada and world-wide have described actions that can help prevent the spread of viruses that cause respiratory illnesses.
Take these steps to reduce exposure to the virus and protect your health:
- Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly with soap and water
- Sneeze and cough into your sleeve; when using tissues, immediately dispose of them into the garbage as soon as possible and wash your hands afterwards
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- Regularly clean commonly used surfaces and devices you touch or handle.
- Try to avoid contact with people who are showing symptoms of respiratory illness, such as coughing
- Check national travel advice before planning or taking trips
- If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health-care provider
- If you have a scheduled visit with your health-care provider, contact them via phone/or portal first to see what other options you may have (many clinics have increased their use of telemedicine) as visiting a clinic can increase your risk of being exposed to the virus. Follow the advice of your health-care provider
The public health authorities are emphasizing that if you think you might be sick, stay home from work or school.
Health-care provider resources
Diabetes Canada and our health-care provider experts recently updated temporary screening guidelines for gestational diabetes during COVID-19.
You can access more information from the Canadian Journal of Diabetes here:
Watch a short video from Dr. Jennifer Yamamoto Clinical Assistant Professor, Departments of Medicine & Obstetrics and Gynecology. University of Calgary.
At Diabetes Canada, we continue to track the research on the potential bidirectional relationship between diabetes and COVID-19.
How Diabetes Canada helps
We have adapted many of our services to support people affected diabetes with the information, advocacy and connections they need.
- Offering expert personalized medical advice by Certified Diabetes Experts via 1-800-BANTING
- Maintaining a website of key information about diabetes and COVID-19
- Broadcasting weekly videos for patients called Ask the Experts
- Guiding patients to resources and supports for medications, supplies and government programs for diabetes via 1-800-BANTING
- Educating healthcare providers on diabetes and COVID-19 via webinars
- Delivering educational content in multiple languages
- Collaborating with partners to support more research into prevention, management and a cure for diabetes.
- Collaborating with Health Canada and other partners to ensure the security of the Canadian insulin supply
- Continuing to advocate for fair access to diabetes medications, devices and supplies for Canadians everywhere
How we help
During this difficult time Diabetes Canada continues to support those living with diabetes and the people who care for them while we work to find a cure. If you are able, your support can make a difference now and in the coming months.
We need your help
Read latest breaking news, updates, and headlines.Read the latest About Newsroom
Choose from over 50 diabetes-friendly recipes to cook during your coronavirus self-quarantine.View recipes About Recipes
Gain knowledge on numerous diabetes-related topics from the comfort of your own home.View webinars About Webinars