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Ahead of World Diabetes Day, experts warn of high-risk, urge COVID-19 testing

Posted at 5:19 PM, Nov 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-13 17:23:52-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Saturday is World Diabetes Day, a day to spread awareness about a disease more the 35 million Americans live with.

This year there is an added layer of concern as people with diabetes are at extra risk for COVID-19.

The COVID-19 hospitalization rate for someone with pre-existing conditions like diabetes is 45 percent, while it's only 9 percent for people with no underlying health issues.

Doctors encourage everyone gets tested as a better way to treat a potential COVID-19 diagnosis

"Having diabetes doesn't mean that you're going to get the severe disease from COVID-19 infection," said Dr. Antoni Kafrouni, an endocrinologist at Tallahassee Memorial Metabolic Health Center. "In fact, many of my patients who have diabetes had COVID-19 and did not develop severe infections; the importance of diagnosing diabetes is controlling it. There are medications that we can use to bring the numbers back to normal."

A primary care physician can test you for diabetes or pre-diabetes.