According to a report by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States, Covid-19 is associated with an increased risk of diabetes in children. According to the report which appeared in Medscape, says that this is different from other acute respiratory infections which do not generally lead to other associated ailments.
As a result of the findings, the CDC have recommended that any patient under the 18 years-of-age who contracts the virus should be checked in the months following with specific attention paid to the onset of diabetes.
The study’s findings are consistent with those obtained in other independent studies that have been conducted in adults, with the CDC again stressing the importance of vaccination.
Such is the importance of this finding that a global database, CoviDiab, has been set up to register and to monitor the incidences with young people who had the virus between 31 and 166 percent more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes.
One of the more serious implications of this is the development of diabetic ketoacidosis, when your body doesn’t have enough insulin to allow blood sugar into your cells for use as energy, was between 20 and 35 percent more likely in those who were infected with the virus.
At this stage it is unclear as to why this occurs, with one thought being that the virus can attack the cells of the pancreas that express receptors for the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2. These receptors help to keep your blood pressure in check.
Another possibility is that diabetes may be a result of stress hyperglycaemia as a consequence of the cytokine storm. Cytokine storms are also suspected to be the main cause of death in the 1918 “Spanish Flu” pandemic. Deaths were weighted more heavily towards people with healthy immune systems, because of their ability to produce stronger immune responses, with dramatic increases in cytokine levels
Also, it has been hypothesized that this increased risk of diabetes could be due to the infection causing pre-diabetes, a condition that is present in approximately one in five adolescents, to progress to diabetes.
The understanding of why Covid-19 causes diabetes in children is in its infancy, with much more research and work needed to fully understand the effects of the virus.
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