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UC San Diego, Rady Children's Hospital join nationwide study on long-COVID impacts on children

$1.15B NIH-sponsored study will span 4 years
Posted at 6:18 AM, Aug 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-09 09:18:35-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - More than billion dollars and four years will be dedicated to studying long-COVID.

UC San Diego and Rady Children’s Hospital have been picked to be a part of this National Institutes of Health-sponsored study to take a deeper look at how long-COVID’s impacting children.

“It’s really important for us to examine this condition in children as well as adults,” said Dr. Kay Rhee of UCSD School of Medicine.

Rhee is one of the lead investigators on the local efforts of this study. She told ABC 10News there’s not a whole lot of information on how long-COVID is impact our youth.

“As we always say, children are just not little adults. Their physiology, their metabolism, everything is a little bit different in children,” Rhee said. “And so, this study I think is really unique because we’re also examining across the age range.”

Rhee said starting this week they’re hoping to get a diverse group of about 700 families in San Diego County to be a part of the study.

Things like blood tests, heart and lung function and brain fog will be looked at over the course of their studies.

Local parents like Jennifer Bandel said this can be a big tool for how parents and their kids move forward through the pandemic and whatever comes next.

“There’s still so much that’s not known about COVID. While for some people it’s really minor and they might have a cold, I have some friends that have dealt with long-COVID including my brother-in-law. So, it’s kind of scary to think of what kids might face,” Bandel said.

Rhee hopes they’ll be able track how kids continue to adapt with this evolving virus.

“One of the big goals for this RECOVER initiative is to understand the risk and resiliency factors. So why are some kids more at risk for developing this and other aren’t,” Rhee said. “Because we know a lot of children have had COVID now but, not everybody gets long-COVID. And so that’s really the big question a lot of parents and families have.”