Resources for parents on the prevention of coronavirus COVID-19
The coronavirus (COVID-19) has now been classified as a pandemic and is affecting many countries around the world. Below are some useful information for you about the virus and how to prevent your child from catching it.
What is it?
The coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new and potentially serious virus. There are many coronaviruses, ranging from the common cold to much more serious viruses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
What are the symptoms?
Common signs are typical flu-like symptoms: a fever, cough, breathing difficulties, tiredness and muscle aches. Symptoms usually start within 3-7 days of exposure to the virus, but in some cases it has taken up to 14 days for symptoms to appear.
What actions should I take?
For people living with diabetes it is important to take precautions to avoid the virus if possible.
- Maintain good blood glucose levels
- Surgical mask can prevent transmission of respiratory viruses from ill persons. It is essential for persons who are symptomatic (even if having mild symptoms) to wear a surgical mask;
- Wear a surgical mask when taking public transport or staying in crowded places. It is important to wear a mask properly, including hand hygiene before wearing and after removing a mask;
- Perform hand hygiene frequently, especially before touching one’s mouth, nose or eyes; before eating; after using the toilet; after touching public installations such as handrails or door knobs; or when hands are contaminated by respiratory secretions after coughing or sneezing;
- Cover your mouth and nose with tissue paper when sneezing or coughing. Dispose of tissues into a lidded rubbish bin, then wash hands thoroughly;
- Wash hands with liquid soap and water, and rub for at least 20 seconds. Then rinse with water and dry with a disposable paper towel. When the hands are cleaned, do not touch the water tap directly again (for example, using a paper towel to wrap the faucet before turn it off). If hand washing facilities are not available, performing hand hygiene with 70 to 80% alcohol-based handrub is an effective alternative;
- Maintain drainage pipes properly and regularly (about once a week) pour about half a litre of water into each drain outlet (U-traps) to ensure environmental hygiene;
- Cover all floor drain outlets when they are not in use;
- After using the toilet, put the toilet lid down before flushing to avoid spreading germs,
The above is taken from the Centre for Health Protection website: https://www.chp.gov.hk/en/healthtopics/content/24/102466.html
There is no suggestion to say that people with diabetes are more at risk of getting the coronavirus. However, there is a chance that you are more vulnerable to becoming severely ill from it. Therefore, it is important that as well as maintaining good personal hygiene, that you maintain good management of your blood glucose levels.
If you have diabetes:
- Prepare in case you get ill.
- Make sure you have all relevant contact details to hand in case you need them.
- Pay extra attention to your glucose control.
- If you do show flu-like symptoms (raised temperature, cough, difficulty breathing), it is important to consult a healthcare professional. If you are coughing up phlegm, this may indicate an infection so you should seek medical support and treatment immediately.
- Any infection is going to raise your glucose levels and increase your need for fluids, so make sure you can access a sufficient supply of water.
- Make sure you have a good supply of the diabetes medications you need. Think what you would need if you had to quarantine yourself for a few weeks.
- Make sure you have access to enough food.
- Make sure you will be able to correct the situation if your blood glucose drops suddenly.
- If you live alone, make sure someone you can rely on knows you have diabetes as you may require assistance if you get ill.
The advice above is taken from the International Diabetes Federation page: COVID-19 and diabetes
What should I do if I have symptoms?
When having respiratory symptoms, wear a surgical mask, avoid going to crowded places and seek medical advice promptly.
- Hong Kong College of Paediatrics: Prevention of the new coronavirus.
- Dr Joanna Tung: Tips for staying healthy
- Dietitian Sylvia Lam: Keeping a healthy diet
These resources are created by third parties. We will keep this page updated with useful resources.
Please ensure that you are always following your diabetes treatment plan and always seek medical attention if you have any concerns.