Researchers in the United Kingdom say they're looking into the possibility of COVID-19 being somehow linked to diabetes in children.
This all started earlier this year when some hospitals in the UK reported double the number of type-one diabetes cases than in previous years.
During that time it was also the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, so researchers at Imperial College London began testing kids with diabetes to see if there was a link.
Turns out some had COVID-19, others had antibodies. Researchers say they still need to look at a larger number of cases before proving a direct link. They also say they're not trying to alarm parents, just raise awareness.
Dr. Karen Logan with Consultant Pediatrician says that, “Viruses have always been thought to play a role in triggering Type one diabetes in children that are susceptible so we feel that COVID-19 may be behaving in a similar manner.”
Right now, researchers say parents should watch their kids for four symptoms: Thirst, frequent restroom visits, tiredness and weight loss.
70% of the kids in the study were starting to run out of insulin in their bodies, according to researchers, and they were all newly diagnosed with diabetes.
COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on people living with diabetes is definitely a growing concern.
The American Diabetes Association says nearly 40% of COVID-19 deaths have been from those with the disease, while 90% of the hospitalizations have been people with diabetes or other underlying conditions.
“Diabetes was a health crisis and epidemic in this country before the pandemic, and what the pandemic has done really is shine a very bright light on an old problem,” said Tracey Brown, CEO of the American Diabetes Association.
There's a page of resources available on Diabetes.org. You can also call 1-800-diabetes if you need to know information more urgently.