CORRECTION: The phone number provided at the bottom of this article was incorrect. The actual phone number is 405-271-3490.

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – For many, the struggles presented by COVID-19 don’t end after a negative test.

Around 10-30 percent of people who have had a serious COVID-19 infection will experience lingering symptoms for at least one month.

Why, though, is a mystery – for now.

Since the very first infection, researchers have been working to understand the new coronavirus.

“We’ve learned so much about COVID but there’s still so much to learn – in particular this one is one of the more mysterious aspects of COVID,” said Timothy VanWagoner, Ph.D. with OU Health.

VanWagoner is one of several researchers across the country teaming up with the National Institutes of Health to look at mysterious long hauler symptoms – from loss of taste and smell to more severe complications with the heart and lungs.

“Individuals develop sleep disorders, other individuals develop some kind of neurological complications including what some people refer to as ‘brain fog’ this inability to think for long periods of time,” VanWagoner said. 

Researchers will analyze around 18,000 patients nationwide – 80 in Oklahoma – to try to better understand long COVID.

“Whether this triggers some sort of auto-immune reaction in some individuals or whether it’s a reactivation of prior viral infections by viruses like Epstein-Barre virus,” said VanWagoner. 

Participants can range from those with long-hauler symptoms to those who have never had the virus.

All who take part can help solve yet another one of COVID’s mysteries.

“Perhaps there may be some sort of antiviral that we could give to them very early that will prevent whatever the trigger is that causes these long-term systems,” VanWagoner said. “It’s an interesting phenomenon.”

While this study will focus on adults – there will be a future one for children.

If you’d like to sign up or get more information, call 405-271-3490 or email osctr@ouhsc.edu.