Dr Abubakar Labaran, a Kano based physician, has advised diabetes patients to maintain good sugar control and personal hygiene to avoid contracting coronavirus.
Labaran, a private physician in Kano, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Thursday in Kano.
He said the call was imperative because diabetes is an immune disease which suppress immunity of a patient.
“Diabetic is a chronic metabolic conditions that cause high blood sugar level which keeps the body in a low level state of immunity.
“People with diabetes may have a higher risk of developing severe medical complications such as pneumonia and viral infections associated with coronavirus.
“Diabetes patients experience more severe consequences of coronavirus than the general population because the body’s ability to fight off an infection is compromised.
“Diabetic must adhere to precautionary tips offered by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and maintain sugar level control, to avoid infections and other complications of COVID-19,” he said.
According to him, coronavirus is different from seasonal flu even though they look alike, it’s symptoms are more severe especially at the terminal end, noting that it may be fatal depending on the body response to the infection.
“Seasonal flu is hardly fatal, usually self limiting, mild moderate infection,” and urged diabetes patients to always wash their hands with soap under running water and avoid crowded places.
“Diabetes patients should avoid contact with subject to COVID-19, and where necessary they should put on face mask to prevent contracting the disease, practice personal hygiene and keep a clean environment.
“Clean and disinfect your home to remove germs, avoid touching surfaces in public places such as elevator buttons, door handles and handshakes.
“Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something, maintain adequate intake of food and fluids as well as avoid touching your face, nose and eyes,” he said.
According to him, people living with type I and II diabetes have the same immune suppression, the only difference is the longer duration of diabetes in person, the more chances the patient gets in severe COVID-19 infection.
He urged diabetes patients who notice symptoms of the virus to consult their doctors and maintain a healthy body weight.
Also, some of the diabetes patients in Kano metropolis, said they adhere to precautionary measures of the pandemic and practice sugar level control tips.
One of the patient, Mr Zubairu Muhammad, said he has been battling with diabetes for the past 20-years.
“I engage my self in regular physical exercise for about 30 minutes every day to help stabilise my sugar level and maintain body weight.
“I practice frequent hand washing with soap under running water and observe social distancing to stay safe.
“I am more careful now with my drugs, diet and personal hygiene,” Muhammad said.
Another patient, Hajiya Saratu Isa, said she is living with diabetes for over 15-years, and prayed to an end to the pandemic.
“Diabetes is a deadly disease especially during hot season. I use hand sanitiser, face mask and make sure my surrounding is clean to stay safe”. (NAN)