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Coronavirus update: Scientists look for COVID-19 link to diabetes

China locks down Shanghai

Diabetes test
Photo (c) VioletaStoimenova - Getty Images
COVID-19 ‌tally‌ ‌as‌ ‌‌compiled‌‌ ‌by‌ ‌Johns‌ ‌Hopkins‌ ‌University.‌ ‌(Previous‌ ‌numbers‌ ‌in‌ ‌parentheses.)‌

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌confirmed‌ ‌cases:‌ 79,954,968 (79,895,560)

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌deaths:‌ 976,705 (975,862)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌cases:‌ 481,121,555 (479,856,778)

Total ‌global‌ ‌deaths:‌ 6,124,475 (6,119,023)‌

Scientists probe possible COVID-19 link to diabetes

People who recover from COVID-19 but continue to have some symptoms – a condition called “long COVID” – sometimes complain about brain fog, fatigue, and muscle aches. Doctors are now seeing signs that some patients also develop diabetes.

A German study published earlier this month looked at patients who were infected with COVID-19 but suffered only mild symptoms. It found that they were 28% more likely to later develop type-2 diabetes than people who weren’t infected.

A previous study in the U.S. found a stronger correlation. Recovered COVID-19 patients were 40% more likely to develop diabetes within a year of their infection.

China locks down Shanghai to counter outbreak

The Chinese government has taken the extraordinary step of locking down Shanghai, its largest city, to try to end an outbreak of COVID-19. China has seen the number of cases of the virus soar in recent weeks.

The shutdown will be carried out in two stages. The eastern half of the city will be closed for the next five days. After that, the western section of the city will lock down. The Chinese government will also require universal testing.

The shutdown could result in slightly lower gasoline prices in the U.S., at least temporarily. Because Shangai has such a large population, the price of oil declined today as traders predicted a big drop in demand.

The pandemic led to many new businesses, study finds

The “Great Resignation,” with millions of people around the world quitting their jobs over the two years of the pandemic, might not be such a mystery after all. There’s new evidence that many of these people launched new businesses.

Comparing data from 2018-2020 and 2020-2022, Mint Formations, a U.K. firm, found that the number of people interested in registering a business increased by more than 145,000.

"Two years on from the first lockdown, working conditions and the employment market have changed significantly in the UK,” said Rajesh Velayuthasamy, the company's director. “With thousands of people working from home, furloughed or laid-off, the pandemic gave people the opportunity to embrace their entrepreneurial spirit and start their own businesses.”

Around the nation

  • New York: Even with its high vaccination rate, Manhattan is getting slammed by the BA.2 subvariant of Omicron. The New York City Health Department says 10 of the 15 areas in the city with the highest seven-day infection rate are in Manhattan, where 82% of residents are fully vaccinated.

  • Florida: Despite throngs of spring break visitors packing Florida’s beaches this month, the state is not seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases. In fact, state health officials say Florida recorded the lowest average of new weekly cases since the pandemic began.

  • Michigan: Despite a decline in new cases of the coronavirus, health officials have stepped up testing. They report that about 50,000 to 60,000 diagnostic tests have been conducted per day on average, with the 7-day positive rate at 3.57% as of March 25. That’s approaching the low recorded in July 2021.

  • Oregon: State health officials have confirmed what some have long suspected. Some people included in the COVID-19 toll weren’t killed by the virus. As long as the victim tested positive for COVID-19, that is listed as the cause of death, officials say.

  • Wisconsin: Medical personnel are reporting a decline in the number of COVID-19 vaccinations they are administering on a daily basis. About 2,000 residents a day are getting the jab, but the seven-day average has begun to fall. Meanwhile, health officials report that just over 200 people are still in the hospital with COVID-19 in Wisconsin.

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