Some hospitals across the country are seeing a rise in kids being diagnosed with diabetes, and say it could be tied to kids catching COVID-19.
Pediatricians have said the Omicron variant is hitting kids hard.
“We have never seen this many children hospitalized with COVID-19. We're seeing younger kids and teens with COVID-related respiratory illnesses, pneumonia," Dr. Erika Newman, a Pediatric Surgeon at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the results of a new study showing children who recover from COVID-19 appear to have a much higher risk of developing Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes. The study shows the virus could directly attack pancreatic cells that produce insulin and destroy them.
Dr. Christopher Blunden, a Pediatric Endocrinologist, said in the last couple years he’s seen a 67 percent increase in kids being diagnosed with diabetes.
"This is really kind of trickling down to the pediatric population, and being recognized as not something that's just affecting adults," Dr. Blunden said.
His advice to parents — minimize the risk of children getting infected with COVID-19 by having them wear masks, avoid large crowds, and get vaccinated if they're old enough.
"Anything that prevents infection is going to be the way to combat this risk at this point in time," he said.
The CDC says people under the age of 18 who caught COVID-19 were more likely to get a Diabetes diagnosis at least 30 days after infection than those who did not catch COVID-19.