San Francisco launches study on long COVID

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — UC San Francisco, the San Francisco Department of Public Health and San Mateo County Health are partnering with local community groups in a quest to learn more about long COVID.

Long COVID, also known as post-acute sequelae of SARS-COv-2, refers to both physical and mental health symptoms that last long after an initial infection. Those symptoms may start during infection and never go away or may appear weeks or months afterwards. Common negative health impacts include fatigue, shortness of breath, pain, problems with concentration, depression and anxiety.

Researchers from the project, “Let’s Figure Out Long COVID – Tell Us Your Story, Bay Area,” will be calling local residents who previously had COVID.

Instead of suffering in silence, people suffering from long COVID will now have an opportunity to tell their stories about the impact long COVID has had on their lives, health officials said.

The goals of the project are to learn how common long COVID is in the Bay Area, what causes it, how to prevent it, and how to treat it.

“We know that communities have concerns about the effects of long COVID, and we still have a lot to learn about this condition,” said Dr. Susan Philip, San Francisco’s Health Officer.

In Phase I of the project, researchers will call San Francisco and San Mateo County residents who had COVID at least three months ago. Whether they have fully recovered or still have symptoms, their experiences will inform researchers about the frequency of long COVID.

In Phase II, some people who were previously interviewed will be asked to join a more detailed research study sponsored by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. This study, called RECOVER (Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery), will last three to four years. Study participants will be compensated for their time.

For additional information, you can email a representative at FiguringOutLongCOVID@ucsf.edu

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