Long-COVID study seeks volunteers in the PNW

The researchers' goal is to understand what causes COVID-19 symptoms after the acute infection, who is at risk and the condition's long-term effects.

Researchers seeking to better understand the condition commonly known as "long COVID" are seeking volunteers from the Pacific Northwest for a new study.

More than 70% of people who contract COVID-19 infection continue to have lingering symptoms long after their acute illness has abated, but little is known about the condition. 

Common symptoms include the inability to exercise, headaches, fatigue, “brain fog,” shortness of breath, anxiety, depression, fever, chronic cough, and sleep problems. More severe complications of COVID-19 infections include stroke, heart inflammation, kidney failure and lung fibrosis.

The study is part of a national initiative called RECOVER (REsearching COVID to Enhance Recovery), which is funded by the National Institutes of Health. 

“Starting from early in the pandemic, we observed how persistent symptoms have continued to affect peoples’ lives long after their initial illness,” said Dr. Helen Chu, associate professor of medicine and the study's chief investigator from the University of Washington School of Medicine. “We are looking forward to participating in this study with all our local partners and we’re particularly interested in enrolling patients from our underserved communities.”

Seattle’s Institute for Systems Biology will lead the Pacific Northwest RECOVER consortium, which also includes Swedish and Providence healthcare systems. All told, 30 research teams across the country are involved in the effort.

Consortium researchers aim to enroll 900 adults age 18 and older who had COVID-19 or suspect that they had the infection, as well as people who have not been infected.  Researchers will gather clinical information about participants’ general health, risk factors and their long COVID symptoms, and conduct tests to assess things such as immune, heart, lung and other organ function as they track the participants’ recoveries.

To learn more about participating in this study, visit pnwrecover.org.

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Tags:COVID-19long COVID

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