OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A local health sciences center is part of a national study to understand the long-term effects of COVID-19 in young people.

The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center is taking part in the study, featuring young people from newborn to 25-years-old who are dealing with the long-term effects of COVID-19.

The study is part of the RECOVER (Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery) Initiative of the National Institutes of Health.

Organizers say they hope to find out why some young people have prolonged symptoms or develop new or returning symptoms after the acute phase of infection.

“This study will help us understand some of the peculiarities of the COVID-19 virus in the pediatric population and what resources will be needed to care for these children in the future,” said Oklahoma Children’s Hospital OU Health pediatric emergency medicine physician Amanda Bogie, M.D., who also serves as Professor and Section Chief of Pediatric Emergency Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics of the OU College of Medicine.

Young people from across Oklahoma may qualify to enroll in the study if they have been sick with COVID-19 in the past 29 days, or if they have had COVID-19 in the past but still have symptoms.

“Long COVID” symptoms in young people include fatigue, chronic cough, memory issues, neurological problems, and skin issues. Because the virus causes entire organ systems to become inflamed, the heart, lungs, kidneys and other organs may experience ongoing problems.

“Children are not little adults, and diseases can affect children differently than adults. This work will help us better tailor therapies and treatments toward children,” said Oklahoma Children’s Hospital OU Health pediatric emergency medicine physician Ryan Brown, M.D., a Clinical Associate Professor in the Section Chief of Pediatric Emergency Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics of the OU College of Medicine.

Enrollment in the study is underway, and researchers will follow participants for four years.

The study will require blood draws, saliva testing and surveys, and participants will be financially reimbursed for their time.

For more information about enrolling in the study, call (405) 271-2429 or email  RECOVEROKPeds@ouhsc.edu.