Latino Diabetes

About COVID-19 & Latino Diabetes

Facing diabetes and COVID-19 together

Latino Diabetes

Recent COVID-19 News

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.


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.

We are here to help

  • Do you have a comment or question related to diabetes and/or COVID-19?
    Send a text in English or Spanish to 805-350-8730; we aim to text a response within 24 hours.
  • Do you need medical advice or assistance?
    Call your doctor.
  • Is this an emergency?
    Call 911.
  • Do you want daily updates?

Stay safe and well.



Global Cases Confirmed
533,780 Deaths

United States Cases Confirmed
132,007 Deaths

California Cases Confirmed
6,366 Deaths

Santa Barbara County Cases
29 Deaths

Updated July 6, 2020
7:30 AM PST

COVID-19 & Diabetes Summit News

Virtual International COVID-19 and Diabetes Summit

People with diabetes are at very high risk of serious complications from COVID-19. To reduce this risk, it is important to develop an international consensus to identify strategies to protect people with diabetes. In preparation for a potential second wave of the virus, at Sansum Diabetes Research Institute, we are creating the 1st Virtual International COVID-19 and Diabetes Summit in collaboration with the Diabetes Technology Society. At the Summit, we will discuss risk reduction by harnessing the potential of digital health, other technologies, and new medicines to protect people with diabetes from COVID-19.

The meeting will take place in August.