By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The University of Southern California Los Angeles announced today that it’s participating in a nationwide online study to examine the long-term symptoms of COVID-19.

Organizers of the study are seeking nearly 5,000 volunteers, particularly COVID-19 survivors who continued to suffer health issues long after they were infected, a group often referred to as “longhaulers.”

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“In this study, we are asking eligible individuals to share their health information so that researchers and doctors can better understand and improve the long-term clinical care for patients with ongoing health issues post COVID-19 infection,” said Dr. Joann Elmore, a professor of medicine in the division of general internal medicine and health services research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and principal investigator at the UCLA site.

Volunteers will need to complete a brief online surveys every three months for a year and a half. Researchers will look closely at the participants’ self-reported and medically documented physical and mental function, including neurocognitive function and chronic fatigue.

Interested participants must be at least 18 or older, have been tested for COVID-19 within the previous 42 days with either positive or
negative test results and not have had a prior COVID-19 diagnosis, had symptoms known to be associated with COVID-19 such as headache and fatigue at the time of testing and have access to an internet connected device such as a smart phone, tablet or computer to complete online surveys.

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“Participants enrolling in this study will be contributing valuable insight for the future care and long-term understanding of people whose health has been affected by COVID-19,” said Raul Moreno, who is helping to coordinate the UCLA/Los Angeles area portion of the study.

The study will be conducted in English and Spanish under the umbrella of INSPIRE (Innovative Support for Patients with SARS COV-2 Infections Registry), a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded project, and led by Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

Other participating medical centers include University of California San Francisco, the University of Washington, Yale New Haven Health, the University of Texas Houston, the University of Texas Southwestern and Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

More information is available at Inspire COVID-19 Study.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)