Viral infections can have a broad range of side effects, such as myocarditis, and COVID-19 is no different. There is evidence that COVID-19 infection might be linked to an increase in diabetes, particularly Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease most commonly diagnosed in children.

It’s evident that diabetes and obesity are associated with a great risk of COVID-19. But there has been some evidence that COVID-19 can lead to diabetes. In some cases, SARS-CoV-2, as well as other viruses, can attack the islet cell in the pancreas that manufacture insulin. A Center for Disease Control study of U.S. insurance databases found diabetes was significantly more common in children who had COVID-19. However, the report didn’t separate Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease typically affecting children, and Type 2, which is associated with obesity.

After initial surges from the Omicron BA.1 variant, the pandemic seemed to fade. Still, many parts of the world are seeing another wave, driven in part by another Omicron variant, BA.2, and the relaxing of public health and social measures. Low vaccination rates in some countries are also a factor. The CDC reported that during the Omicron surge, young children under the age of five were hospitalized at about five times the previously documented rate during Delta. The big picture here is that COVID can be a severe disease, even in young children and otherwise healthy children. A sister variant of Omicron, BA.2, is rising in parts of the world, including in the U.S. Experts note that If the subvariant does begin to surge in the U.S., people over the age of 65 will be a key indicator of how other variants might affect the population. Read more here.