After the National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded the USC-affiliated Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) an $8.3 million grant in January, a team of experts is preparing to kick off a study to assess the long-term effects of COVID-19 (long COVID) in children and young adults in order to determine the most effective ways to treat this condition.

Long COVID, chronic COVID or post-acute sequalae of SARS-CoV-2 or (PASC) is described as symptoms that persist for months after the initial illness or that may arise later. Headaches, fatigue, difficulty concentrating or brain fog, shortness of breath, palpitations, changes in heart rate and sleep disorders are some of the lasting effects of COVID-19 experienced by children and young adults who may have had only a mild case or were asymptomatic.

“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,” said David Warburton, MD, site Principal Investigator at CHLA. “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.”

CHLA is one of more than 30 nationwide medical institutions working in partnership with the Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery (RECOVER) study. The study is set to run over the next four years. As an observational study, patients will be tracked after their initial visit in 2022 until 2026. CHLA plans to enroll 20,000 patients, including adults, pregnant women, and children under the age of 25. The study will track both patients who have and have not contracted the coronavirus. While CHLA’s pediatric emphasis limits those able to participate, the study is open to all ages nationwide.Subscribe to the Trialsitenews “COVID-19” ChannelNo spam – we promise

Once admitted, the participants will undergo three stages depending on the degree of their symptoms. Level one will include telemedicine appointments and blood sampling, level two will be an in-depth extension of level one and level three will include MRIs, and other investigative forms of screening.  

The study also will focus on two other post-COVID/PASC conditions— Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) and COVID vaccine-associated myocarditis. 

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