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NIH grants $470 mln to conduct studies on long-term effects of COVID-19

·1 min read

Sept 15 (Reuters) - The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded nearly $470 million to support studies among tens of thousands of Americans that will investigate the long-term effects of COVID-19.

The grant is part of an initiative the main U.S. health research body launched in February to understand why symptoms of the illness persist long after infection in some cases - a condition known as "long COVID"- and why some individuals develop new or returning symptoms after recovery.

The most common prolonged symptoms include pain, headaches and fatigue, but the condition has been linked to a higher risk of kidney problems as well as smell distortions in other studies.

The initiative, named RECOVER, has given the award to New York University (NYU) Langone Health, a medical center, which could serve as the core institution for the new research.

The studies would include adult, pregnant and pediatric populations and attempt to find the prevalence of long-term effects from the infection, the range of symptoms and potential treatment and prevention strategies, among other things.

"These studies will aim to determine the cause and find much needed answers to prevent this often-debilitating condition and help those who suffer move toward recovery," said NIH Director Francis Collins in a statement on Wednesday. (Reporting by Amruta Khandekar; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)