Diabetics at greater risk of death from coronavirusLocal | 10 Feb 2020 12:15 pm
A diabetes expert in Hong Kong has urged all people with high blood sugar to be extra vigilant as the disease can weaken immunity and make them more vulnerable to the coronavirus, RTHK reports.
The only death linked to coronavirus reported in Hong Kong so far has been a 39-year-old man with diabetes.
Juliana Chan, director of the Institute of Diabetes and Obesity at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said if a patient's blood sugar remained high, it would affect the body's functions such as immunity, and would also destroy blood vessels, increasing the possibility of death in critical situations.
In an interview with RTHK, Chan said that according to research data, the mortality rate of diabetic patients infected with Sars was eight times higher than that of non-diabetics of the same age and the same sex.
Chan said that the damage due to diabetes can accumulate over time. People who develop diabetes at a young age are particularly at risk, but if the disease is effectively controlled, the dangers of other complications can be avoided, said the expert.
She suggested that during the new coronavirus epidemic, people with diabetes should monitor blood sugar levels, maintain personal and environmental hygiene and avoid getting sick.