DIABETICS may need to stay home to protect themselves from coronavirus after the lock is released.
Research has shown that people who suffer from the Covid-19 virus are at significantly higher risk of dying.
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Professor Peter Horby, chair of the Advisory Group on Threats to New and Emerging Respiratory Viruses (Nervtag), said that diabetes was considered as part of an “active review” of the most vulnerable groups.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that almost one in three people who died of a coronavirus in hospital had diabetes.
The professor of emerging infectious diseases and global health at Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Medicine has now started advanced discussions with other government advisers, reports the Daily Telegraph.
Diabetics are currently classified as “clinically vulnerable” rather than “clinically extremely vulnerable” – the most affected group of people who have received letters from their doctors telling them that they should stay at home in almost all conditions.
Scientists wonder if diabetics need more protection now, more research has been done.
Official figures show that people with type 1 autoimmune diabetes are three and a half times more likely to die if they catch Covid-19 than non-diabetics, while type 2 diabetics – usually linked to overweight – are twice as likely to die.
Despite these concerns, Bridget Turner, director of policy at Diabetes UK, said she hoped the government would not have made a general decision.
She said, “It is important to remember that everyone with diabetes is different, so an overall request for protection for everyone with diabetes is unlikely to be appropriate. “
Obesity has also been shown to be an important factor in the most affected Covid patients and has been linked to the development of type 2 diabetes.
Earlier this month, a study of nearly half a million Britons found that obesity doubled the risk of needing hospital treatment for Covid-19.
Researchers at the University of Glasgow have found that an increase in body mass index (BMI) increases the risk of having a severe case of the disease.
There are around four million diabetics in the UK and are unlikely to be told to protect themselves.
Turner added, “It’s because the advice to people who are asked to protect is very restrictive, so it’s important to balance it against the level of risk.”
“For those who protect themselves, especially if they don’t need it, the psychological and emotional impact could be significant, while stress – and movement restrictions – could also have an impact on health and a person’s well-being and, in particular, their blood sugar control.
“We understand that Nervtag will review the evidence for protection, including emerging evidence on who is most at clinical risk of serious illness if he catches Covid-19. “
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs said: “The advice on shielding and protecting the clinically extremely vulnerable at Covid-19 was developed by expert doctors.
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“They have identified specific medical conditions that, based on what we know about the virus so far, put someone at greatest risk for serious Covid-19 disease.”
“We continue to keep this evidence under review. “
“For those who protect, especially if they don’t need it, the psychological impact could be significant.”
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