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National initiative searching for 'definitive answers' to long COVID symptoms


A new study on long-haulers is being called a "paradigm shift" for patient care by a D.C. doctor who treats hundreds of post-COVID patients. (7News)
A new study on long-haulers is being called a "paradigm shift" for patient care by a D.C. doctor who treats hundreds of post-COVID patients. (7News)
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Nearly nine million people suffer from an often life-altering illness that no test can detect and with hundreds of symptoms, no treatment can cure.

The National Institutes of Health's RECOVER initiative is using more than $1 billion to research long COVID in the hopes of treating and preventing the illness. There are more than 200 documented issues associated with long COVID, including body aches, loss of taste and smell, shortness of breath and trouble concentrating.

The RECOVER program has five research components that establish a national health record of COVID-19 long-haulers to clinical trials.

7News Health and Wellness Reporter Victoria Sanchez spoke with one of the program's directors.

“Some of the doctors that I’ve been speaking to who are treating people with long COVID, they tell me they’re kind of winging it, there’s not a game plan for how to exactly treat people with long COVID and they feel the government really needs to step up and do more," Sanchez said.

“Absolutely. We’re hearing it from physicians but more importantly, we’re hearing it from patients," said Dr. Clinton Wright. “Now that we’ve set up these five platforms that will then be able to test different interventions as those interventions start to read out, then hopefully these physicians that you’re talking about will have definitive answers about what to do.”

Sanchez continues to follow the case of 7News Photographer Mike Rudd who suffers from brain fog, fatigue, skin rashes and other long COVID issues after he suffered from a mild case of COVID-19. She shared his story with Dr. Wright who said he too has colleagues suffering and believes there will be treatment one day to elevate the symptoms.

RELATED | Silently suffering: COVID long-haulers face debilitating issues years after infection

If you have long COVID and would like more information on RECOVER or would like to participate in a clinical trial, click here.

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