While children were for the most part spared during the first couple of pandemic surges, this hasn’t been the case with the Delta and Omicron variants of concern. While severe cases due to SARS-CoV-2 infection remain far rarer than with adults, more children are ending up in hospitals due to COVID-19. In fact, more children are becoming seriously ill and some experience bouts of long COVID with symptoms carrying on for months. A team of clinical experts at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles just secured 8.3 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to investigate the long-term effects of COVID-19 in children and young adults. The goal: assess more effective ways to care for this vulnerable patient population. Note that the study includes young people afflicted with MIS-C and those experiencing myocarditis associated with the COVID-19 vaccine.

Called the RECOVER study for Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles joins over 30 other research centers (trial sites) across America that will enroll thousands of people in the study in a bid to better understand long COVID in this cohort. Adults and pregnant women, along with young people and children will be included in RECOVER.

The Problem

Anywhere from 10% to 30% of the over 39 million SARS-CoV-2 infections (and growing) lead to a real problem. So much so that many experts have mounting concern that long COVID may represent a future public health crisis as hundreds of thousands to millions of people struggle to cope with a range of ongoing persistent symptoms. From headaches, fatigue, to brain fog, shortness of breath, cardiovascular problems, and sleep disorders, the emergence of long COVID must be better understood with the hope that it can be treated.

The Study

One of several pediatric hospitals involved targeting 20,000 children and young adult participants (age 25 and under), according to David Warburton, MD, Principal Investigator at CHLA. He reported, “We estimate that 5 to 15% of youth infected with SARS-CoV-2 develop long COVID. Given the population of Los Angeles, that is a lot of young people who will be affected.” Dr. Warburton continued, “With this study, our objective is to learn more about the progression of this condition, how to treat it, and most importantly, how to prevent it.”Subscribe to the Trialsitenews “COVID-19” ChannelNo spam – we promise

The study also centers on two other post-COVID/PASC conditions, including Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) and COVID vaccine-associated myocarditis. A total of 800 individuals with MIS-C and 200 participants with COVID vaccine-associated myocarditis will be enrolled nationally.

John Wood, MD, Ph.D. works at CHLA as a pediatric cardiologist and serves the study as co-Principal Investigator. He shared recently, “Our goal is to identify children and young adults who may have this condition and help them toward recovery.” Dr. Wood continued, “If your child or a child you know is still experiencing symptoms that interfere with daily life, talk to your pediatrician about being evaluated for long-term effects of COVID and consider participating in this study.”

The Trial Site

An important place in general, but also regarding COVID-19, CHLA is one of just a handful of hospitals in the nation’s most populated state that runs a dedicated long COVID recovery care program in children and young adults. For more on CHLA check out their website.

Funding

This study is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Lead Research/Investigator (CHLA)

  • David Warburton, OBE, DSc, MD, MMM, FRCP, FRCS, FRCPCH  
  • John Wood, MD, PhD
  • Jon Detterich, MD
  • Juan Espinoza, MD
  • Michele Kipke, PhD,
  • Michael Neely, MD
  • Sharon O’Neil, PhD
  • Jennifer Su, MD
  • Jacqueline Szmuszkovicz, MD

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