Solving the Mystery of Who Gets Long Covid

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While some patients recover quickly after their Covid-19 diagnosis, others do not. A baffling mix of diverse symptoms can linger long after diagnosis causing significant qualify of life issues in these patients. We are also unsure of the long-term health effects of this syndrome. In this interview, Michelle Harkins, MD, researcher and professor at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, describes her upcoming study looking at who is most likely to get long Covid with the hopes of developing effective prevention and treatment strategies. Harkins and her team are a part of a huge NIH initiative that includes 30 different research institutions, 20,000 Covid-19 survivors, and a total of $450 million in funding.

About the Expert

Michelle Harkins, MD, is professor and chief of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine at the University of New Mexico (UNM) Health Sciences Center. During the pandemic, she has provided frontline care for critically ill covid patients and telehealth sessions with Project Echo. In addition, she has led several NIH-sponsored, Covid-focused clinical trials at UNM. She is now the adult site private investigator for the NIH Recover program to study acutely ill Covid patients and those with long Covid to better understand who develops postacute sequelae SARS-CoV-2 infection and outline treatment and even prevention strategies for the future.

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