Study linking pediatric diabetes to COVID-19 puts parents on alert

Nonprofit aims to raise money to help find a cure for Type 1 diabetes

SAN ANTONIO – Erin and Pat Alba got a life-changing diagnosis for their son eight years ago when he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

They found themselves overwhelmed with questions but found guidance in JDRF -- a research and advocacy nonprofit.

“The goal of the foundation is to raise money to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes,” said Pat, who is a board member.

Following the CDC study which highlights a possible link between children who had COVID-19 to diabetes, they wanted to make sure families are asking questions and looking for changes in their children.

“You’re going to be paying attention to things like frequent urination, loss of appetite or increased appetite. And then also weight loss, rapid weight loss and low energy,” Erin said.

Chief Medical Officer at Children’s Hospital of San Antonio Norman Christopher explains there are gaps in the study but overall, it follows the same pattern that medical experts have been tracking with adults who had COVID-19 and later got diabetes.

He said there’s still a lot more studies that need to be done that should include ethnicity, gender and other important data, but this compilation of studies so far is a good start in getting answers.

“This study is the first stab at saying, you know, there really is something there. We just don’t understand it,” he said.

About the Authors:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Adam Barraza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12 and an El Paso native. He interned at KVIA, the local ABC affiliate, while still in high school. He then moved to San Antonio and, after earning a degree from San Antonio College and the University of the Incarnate Word, started working in news. He’s also a diehard Dodgers fan and an avid sneakerhead.