OU Health Sciences Center Enrolling Youth in National Study of ‘Long COVID’
Published: Tuesday, May 10, 2022
OKLAHOMA CITY — The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center is part of a national study to better understand the long-term effects of COVID-19 in young people from newborn to age 25. Enrollment in the study is underway, and researchers will follow participants for four years.
The study is part of the RECOVER (Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery) Initiative of the National Institutes of Health. Its aim is to learn why some young people have prolonged symptoms (often called “long COVID”) or develop new or returning symptoms after the acute phase of infection from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Young people from across Oklahoma may qualify to enroll in the study if they have been sick with COVID-19 in the past 29 days, or if they have had COVID-19 in the past but still have symptoms. The study will require blood draws, saliva testing and surveys, and participants will be financially reimbursed for their time. For more information about enrolling in the study, call (405) 271-2429 or email RECOVEROKPeds@ouhsc.edu.
“This study will help us understand some of the peculiarities of the COVID-19 virus in the pediatric population and what resources will be needed to care for these children in the future,” said Oklahoma Children’s Hospital OU Health pediatric emergency medicine physician Amanda Bogie, M.D., who also serves as Professor and Section Chief of Pediatric Emergency Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics of the OU College of Medicine. She is leading the pediatric “long COVID” study.
COVID-19 has resulted in long-term symptoms rarely seen with other viral infections. As with adults, some children who have been infected return to normal quickly, while others struggle with lingering symptoms for months. “Long COVID” symptoms in young people include fatigue, chronic cough, memory issues, neurological problems and skin issues. Because the virus causes entire organ systems to become inflamed, the heart, lungs, kidneys and other organs may experience ongoing problems.
Investigating “long COVID” symptoms is crucial because they may affect the future health of children and increase their need for healthcare services. Better understanding symptoms is an important first step for preventing and treating them.
“Children are not little adults, and diseases can affect children differently than adults. This work will help us better tailor therapies and treatments toward children,” said Oklahoma Children’s Hospital OU Health pediatric emergency medicine physician Ryan Brown, M.D., a Clinical Associate Professor in the Section Chief of Pediatric Emergency Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics of the OU College of Medicine. He is helping to lead the study.
The OU Health Sciences Center is uniquely qualified to serve as a study partner for this NIH initiative by leveraging the Oklahoma Clinical and Translational Science Institute (OCTSI). The OCTSI unites universities, nonprofit organizations, American Indian communities, public agencies and primary care providers in research addressing the health outcomes of Oklahomans. OCTSI’s existing infrastructure will be used to enroll patients from across the state, including those in rural and medically underserved areas. The OU Health Sciences Center is among more than 30 academic healthcare institutions across the nation enrolling patients in the study.