COVID-19: Diabetes, obesity declared risk factors as Kenya records 375 new cases

COVID-19: Diabetes, obesity declared risk factors as Kenya records 375 new cases

The country’s health ministry on Saturday termed diabetes, obesity and hypertension as risk factors for COVID-19 as the caseload for the disease rose to 16,643 after 375 more patients tested positive from a sample size of 2,052.

The new patients include 351 Kenyans and 24 foreigners, composed of 229 males and 146 females between 5 months old and 90 years of age.

The infections are distributed in such counties as; Nairobi (240), Kajiado (36), Kiambu (31), Migori (16), Machakos (15), Nakuru (14), Nyeri (5), Kisumu (3), Uasin Gishu (3), Mombasa (3), Trans Nzoia (2), Meru (1), Kakamega (1), Kisii (1), Siaya (1), Vihiga (1), Murang’a (1).

Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr. Rashid Aman also announced that the number of recoveries rose to 7,574 after 128 more patients recovered from the disease; 74 in home-based care and 51 discharged from various facilities.

Dr. Aman however also stated that four patients succumbed to the novel coronavirus hence the tally for fatalities stands at 278.

The CAS advised those suffering from underlying diseases especially diabetes, hypertension and obesity to stay home and only go out when absolutely necessary saying they are at greater risk of requiring intensive care if they contract COVID-19.

“Diabetes is a risk factor for hospitalization and mortality of COVID-19. Studies indicate that, of patients with severe disease, upto 16% had diabetes.”

He added: “Diabetic complications such as diabetic kidney disease and ischemic heart disease may complicate the situation for people with diabetes, making them frailer and further increasing the severity of CIVID-19 disease and the need for care such as acute dialysis.”

Dr. Aman sought to clarify that this, however, does not mean that those with diabetes are more likely to contract COVID-19, but only that “they have a higher chance of experiencing serious complications” if they are actually diagnosed with it and that “the outcomes are usually not good.”

“Obesity also predisposes people to many ailments, diabetes included. Many patients with Type 2 diabetes are obese; and obesity is a risk factor for severe infection,” he added.

“People with severe abdominal obesity also have mechanical respiratory problems resulting in poor ventilation of the lungs thus increasing the risk of pneumonia as well as reduced oxygen saturation of blood. With COVID-19, this combination of conditions can be deadly.”