Covid-19 may increase risk of diabetes in kids; prevention

Kids who have recovered from COVID-19 may have an increased risk of diabetes, according to a new study by Disease Control and Prevention.

Covid-19 may increase risk of diabetes in kids; prevention

It’s time to rethink our Covid response to account for higher vaccination rates, natural immunity and milder variants like omicron.

Covid-19 may increase risk of diabetes in kids; prevention

Symptoms Fever, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, vomiting, loss of taste or smell; some cases asymptomatic
Complications Pneumonia, viral sepsis, acute respiratory distress syndrome, kidney failure, cytokine release syndrome, respiratory failure, pulmonary fibrosis, pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, chronic COVID syndrome
Usual onset 2–14 days (typically 5) from infection
Duration 5 days to chronic
Causes Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)

Kids who have recovered from COVID-19 may have an increased risk of developing diabetes, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study, which looked at databases with information for over 2.5 million patients under 18, found that children diagnosed with COVID-19 were about 2.5 times more likely to receive a new diabetes diagnosis a month or more after infection.

The health care data, taken from the first full year of the coronavirus pandemic, showed that other, non-COVID-related infections were not found to be associated with increased risk of diabetes diagnosis, leading researchers to look for reasons for this possible link between COVID and diabetes diagnoses.

A possible link between COVID-19 and an increased risk of diabetes has also been found in adults. In June, two studies were released that showed the virus’s ability to infect pancreatic beta cells, decrease insulin secretion and effectively yield Type 1 diabetes.

Covid-19 may increase risk of diabetes in kids; prevention

In Type 1 diabetes, the body completely stops making insulin, requiring daily insulin injections, via shots or an insulin pump, to stay alive.

And In Type 2 diabetes, the body continues to make insulin but develops insulin resistance, meaning the cells do not respond to insulin correctly.


Experts, including those at Johns Hopkins, believe that there are many benefits to vaccinating children for COVID-19. The CDC recommends vaccines for children 5 and older. Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and what parents need to know. 

Maintain physical distancing. The more people your kids come in contact with, and the longer the duration of that contact, the higher the risk of infection with the coronavirus.

Covid-19 may increase risk of diabetes in kids; prevention

  • Children should stay at least 6 feet from others outside of their household.
  • Check your kids’ day care and schools (if they are open) to ensure physical distancing measures are in place.
  • Limit in-person play with other children, and be sure the children wear masks properly.
  • Ensure that children limit close contact with children and adults who are vulnerable, such as those with health conditions.

The very contagious delta variant is circulating. Mask wearing prevents virus spread and outbreaks. This is one reason why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend masking for children in grades K-12, even for those who are fully vaccinated.

Diagnostic method rRT-PCR testing, CT scan, Rapid antigen test
Prevention Face coverings, quarantine, physical/social distancing, ventilation, hand washing, vaccination
Treatment Symptomatic and supportive
Frequency 307,346,252 confirmed cases
Deaths 5,490,117

Data continue to support the value of masking in schools to prevent infections. Milstone suggests that parents help younger children practice wearing masks before returning to school so kids are comfortable wearing them in class.

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