A metro hospital is getting $1 million to learn more about the long-term effects of COVID-19.
Researchers at OU Health said the study has two main goals: treating ‘long COVID’ and preventing others from getting it.
“There is a large portion of individuals who get COVID-19 that for whatever reason have symptoms that last sometimes well beyond 30 days,” said Tim VanWagoner, Ph.D., the Co-Principal Investigator for the study at OU Health.
For some, COVID-19 lasts a couple of weeks. However, VanWagoner said about 30% of people experience long term effects like loss of taste and smell, cardiovascular problems, and neurological issues.
“This study is designed to help us one, try to truly define what Long COVID is but then also understand why some people have these long-term symptoms while other people are able to recover relatively quickly,” he said.
The National Institutes of Health Initiative is funding this mission to help find answers.
“We can follow them and some of those individuals will continue to have long term symptoms and other people won’t. That is what is really going to help us better understand what is happening,” he said.
Eighteen thousand people will participate nationally in the RECOVER (Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery) Initiative and 80 of them will be from Oklahoma.
“To be part of that here in Oklahoma and provide access to such an important clinical study is an important reason for our existence here in the state,” said VanWagoner.
OU Health is looking for people who have recently recovered from COVID-19.
“Individuals will be screened by our state coordinators and then if they are eligible for the study, they go through a series of questionnaires to understand when they had covid as well as how their life conditions may have changed,” he said.
The study will follow participants for four years. Their findings will be shared in real time to get results quicker.