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Can Kids Get Diabetes After COVID-19?

Can Kids Get Diabetes After COVID-19?

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations among children are hitting record numbers, likely due to how contagious the omicron variant is and lower vaccination rates in kids. And now there’s a potential complication parents should keep in mind.

The medical community has been closely following a link between severe COVID-19 infections and new cases of diabetes, and the newest research focus has turned to kids. In a study recently released by the CDC, researchers found that children who contract COVID are significantly more likely to later be diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

One big unknown, however, is whether the onset of type 2 diabetes after COVID will become a chronic condition for children, or something that eventually resolves itself.

Another unknown is the reason behind this new onset of diabetes. As is the case with adults, the connection between the two diseases may be because the coronavirus attacks cells in the pancreas, which produces insulin to help the body maintain normal sugar metabolism.

In another study of adult COVID patients, about half developed high blood sugar levels, which are linked to diabetes, after having the virus. The researchers’ findings suggest that rather than being caused by an inability to produce insulin in the first place, the high blood sugar levels are a result of insulin resistance. This means the body’s cells aren’t responding normally to insulin by taking in glucose. The virus can infect fat cells, interfering with their ability to make normal hormone levels key to maintaining blood sugar levels.

If your child has recently had COVID-19, pay close attention to new symptoms like excessive urination, excessive thirst, blurry vision, fatigue, and unexplained weight loss. Reach out to your child’s doctor if something doesn’t feel right. If you have questions about your child and the COVID vaccine, talk to their doctor. The Pfizer vaccine is currently approved for anyone aged 5 and older. To learn more, visit