Latino Diabetes

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Latino Diabetes

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COVID-19 and Diabetes in Latinos

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the infection caused by a virus called coronavirus. This new virus was unknown before the outbreak began in China, in December 2019.

Do adults with diabetes face a higher risk from COVID-19?

At the moment, we do not know if there are differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes as they relate to COVID-19.

Evidence suggests that if you have diabetes, compared to people without diabetes, you have:

  • increased risk of infection in general, this will probably be the same for COVID-19;
  • difficulty controlling diabetes when you have an infection; and
  • higher risk of complications from the infection, especially if you are older or have diabetes-related complications or other medical problems.

Therefore, if you have diabetes, it is important to try to prevent COVID-19 infection from occurring. Good control of diabetes makes sense.

Should I worry about COVID-19?

For most people, COVID-19 infection is mild, especially for children and young adults, and most people recover completely without needing special treatment. However, COVID-19 can cause serious illness in some people including family or friends. It is therefore quite normal for you to worry about how the COVID-19 outbreak will affect us and our loved ones.

How does COVID-19 spread?

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. It is spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs, releasing droplets containing the virus into the air (these droplets can travel up to 6 feet) which land on surfaces (door handles, phones, food, anything). If you touch these surfaces and then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, the infection enters their body. Your risk of COVID-19 increases if there are people near you who are sick. Some people with the virus may have no symptoms so it is important for all of us to wash our hands and stay over 6 feet away from others when possible.

Guidelines for wearing masks

Graphic do choose masks that
Graphic do not choose masks
Grapgic caution gaiters and face shields
Graphic special situations glasses
Special situations children
Graphic hints on how not to wear a mask
Graphic hints on how to take off a mask

How to clean

  • Masks should be washed regularly. Always remove masks correctly and wash your hands after handling or touching a used mask.
  • Include your mask with your regular laundry
  • Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth used to make the mask
  • Use the highest heat setting and leave in the dryer until completely dry
Graphic washing machine and dryer

COVID-19 and Diabetes in Latinos

What are the symptoms of COVID-19 in people with diabetes?


COVID-19 symptoms chart

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are the same in people with and without diabetes: fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Some people may also have diarrhea, nausea and vomiting before the respiratory symptoms start.

These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people get the infection without feeling sick and without these symptoms. Additionally, people with diabetes may see their glucose levels rise during illness even if they are not eating.

However for a small number of people COVID-19 can become serious, with difficulty breathing, pain in the chest, confusion, or bluish lips or face. If these or other worrying symptoms occur, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

How long after catching COVID-19 do symptoms start?

At the moment, we think the time between catching the virus and when symptoms start (called the “incubation period”) is between 1 and 14 days, most commonly around 5 days.

COVID-19/Coronavirus is a new and serious threat to everyone, including but especially Hispanic/Latino people with diabetes if their blood sugars are high.

Fortunately, all of us can take simple steps to reduce our risk of catching COVID-19 and, if someone with diabetes develops COVID-19, there are important, practical steps to take immediately.



Global Cases Confirmed
4,246,122 Deaths

United States Cases Confirmed
629,570 Deaths

California Cases Confirmed
64,423 Deaths

Santa Barbara County Cases
462 Deaths

Updated August 2, 2021
7:30 AM PST

CDC Mask Guidelines


  • Wear masks with two or more layers to stop the spread of COVID-19
  • Wear the mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
  • Masks should be worn by people two years and older
  • Masks should NOT be worn by children younger than two, people who have trouble breathing, or people who cannot remove the mask without assistance
  • Do NOT wear masks intended for healthcare workers, for example, N95 respirators
  • CDC does not recommend the use of gaiters or face shields. Evaluation of these face covers is on-going but effectiveness is unknown at this time.

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