Plain language summary
Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Little is known about how it affects the endocrine system and it is likely that some patients who have recovered may suffer long-term consequences. The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) that caused the SARS outbreak in 2003 has many similarities. This editorial looks at the possible effects on the endocrine system of SARS-CoV-2 by looking at the long-term effects seen in SARS. In the case of SARS-CoV, it was thought that the virus could directly damage pancreatic cells leading to type 2 diabetes. It is hypothesized that Covid-19 patients could develop this condition by the same mechanism. Although no study on SARS reported the link between obesity and higher mortality rate, there is evidence that obese Covid-19 patients have worse clinical outcomes. There is no data yet for Covid-19, but adrenal insufficiency and impaired thyroid function were shown in some cases of SARS. To identify and treat any possible long-term effects of Covid-19, endocrinologists should monitor hormone levels and metabolic functions.