UW, Seattle Children’s to study spread of COVID, RSV

Researchers seek local households to join a study of how these viruses spread among people.

Media Contact: Leila Gray, leilag@uw.edu, 206-475-9809

Researchers at UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s Hospital are looking for more 200 Seattle-area households interested in joining a study to learn how COVID-19 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections spread from person to person within a household, and how that spread can be prevented.

COVID-19 remains a major cause of severe illness, hospitalization and death nationwide. RSV, a common respiratory virus, usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms, but can cause serious illness in infants, older adults and people with some medical conditions.

"This study will help us better understand how respiratory viruses spread and improve public health guidance to prevent respiratory infections and improve pandemic preparedness efforts," said Dr. Helen Chu, a principal investigator of the study and professor of medicine, Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

To participate, at least one person in the household needs to have a positive test for RSV or COVID-19 in the five days before enrollment. Not all people in the household need to participate, but for a household to qualify, three-quarters of its members must agree to join the study.

Each participating member will take a survey over the phone and then complete 10 days of at-home nasal swabs and symptom diaries. Participants will also be asked to provide two optional small blood samples by using an at-home device for blood collection, and to complete two online follow-up surveys.

Supplies for nasal swabbing and blood sample collection will be dropped off and picked up by courier, so that everything can be done from home. Each participating member of the household can earn up to $225.

The project, called the Respiratory Infection: Gauge of Household Transmission (RIGHT) study, is funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is conducted in collaboration with researchers at Vanderbilt University and Columbia University. 

Interested households can contact rightstudy@uw.edu for more information about the study and how to enroll. 

For details about UW Medicine, please visit http://uwmedicine.org/about.

Tags:respiratory illnessRSV (respiratory syncytial virus)COVID-19infections

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