When the coronavirus attacks the cells of the body, it not only decreases their activity but also can change their function as Reuters reported citing results of the study of the scientists from Weill Cornell Medicine center in New York.
“We call this a change of cell fate," study leader Dr. Shuibing Chen said, when she presented the results of the study on Tuesday, at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.
For example, when insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas become infected with the virus, they not only produce much less insulin than usual but also start to produce glucose and digestive enzymes, which is not their job.
The scientists cannot tell for sure whether such changes are long-lasting, or if they might be reversible.
Chen noted that some people, who survived the Covid-19 infection, had diabetes soon.
“It is definitely worth investigating the rate of new-onset diabetes patients in this COVID-19 pandemic,” she said
As we reported, the Covid-19 pandemic reduced life expectancy in 2020 by the largest amount since World War Two.