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Coronavirus: Advice for people living with diabetes

16 June 2020

Here are some helpful tips on what precautions you should take, and what you need to know

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared that spread of the coronavirus as a pandemic in March, and and most countries have seen outbreaks. Although the UK is seeing a decline in the number of new cases and hospitalisations, we all still need to be careful and try to reduce the spread of the virus as much as possible.

People with diabetes are classed by the NHS and UK Government as 'clinically vulnerable' Although this means someone with diabetes is not required to shield themselves, they are still more likely to become seriously ill if they contract the virus, should should take extra precautions to avoid infection. It is also important to ensure that they can manage their own diabetes during the current situation.

All Accu-Chek products are available as usual

Roche is working with health authorities and the governments in affected countries to ensure people can get access to screening and healthcare. The most important priority now is to ensure that our medicines and products are available to patients, and to ensure that our employees can perform their work in the safest possible way.

Roche is closely monitoring the situation, and the product supply is assured. All Accu-Chek products are available as usual, and Roche is working with all suppliers to continue to meet the increased demand.

Precautions for people with diabetes

What do you need in case you hhave to self-quarantine? How should you deal with your diabetes in case you get sick? Here are some helpful tips.

  1. Make sure you have enough blood sugar strips to last you a month. It is important that there is a fair distribution of the supplies available, therefore please avoid hoarding.
  2. Also make sure you have what you need of your other diabetes supplies.
  3. Please note that in the case of illness it can be more challenging to regulate your blood sugar, as is often the case with influenza, for example. This is especially true for those with Type 1 diabetes. If you get sick you are advised to measure your blood sugar more often than usual, according to your sick day rules.
  4. Stay updated on your national guidelines and recommendations. the different nations within the UK and Ireland currently have different guidelines, so make sure to keep up to date with those relevant to you and where you live.
  5. Avoid physical contact with people who do not live within your household, and maintain social distancing. Wash your hands frequently and use antibacterial hand gel when hand washing is not possible.
  6. Cover your month and nose when coughing and sneezing, either by using a tissue that you throw away afterwards, or by coughing into your upper sleeve. Don't cough in your hands.
  7. If you worry that you might have the symptoms of the coronavirus, stay at home and do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:
    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath
    • Loss of sense of smell or taste
  8. If you need any medical advise about your symptoms, please follow the relevant local guidelines for your nation:
  9. Follow your usual sick day rules, and contact your diabetes healthcare professional by phone if you have any questions or are not sure what to do. 

We would like to express our sincere thanks to the healthcare professionals, and all others who fulfill critical functions in society at a demanding time. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our customer careline by email or phone.

References

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/

https://www.diabetes.org.uk/about_us/news/coronavirus

The views expressed in the Accu-Chek blog are not necessarily those of Roche Diabetes Care Limited or our publishers. The content is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely – you must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content. Although we make reasonable efforts to ensure that the content is up to date, we make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content is accurate, complete or up-to-date.

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