Jul 20, 2021 - Health

NIH to study long COVID in kids

Illustration of a kid looking at a COVID virus.

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C. and the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease are launching a $40 million study to examine long COVID and multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children.

Why it matters: While kids have been comparatively unscathed by COVID, this is the largest study of its kind aimed at understanding the long-term impacts COVID can have on children when they do have more serious outcomes.

"This study will provide us with a critical missing piece of the puzzle," said Roberta DeBiasi, chief of the division of pediatric infectious diseases at Children's National and lead researcher for this study.

By the numbers: More than 3.6 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 and more than 2,800 cases of MIS-C have been reported in the U.S.

  • Researchers plan to look at information about long COVID's quality of life and social impact, as well as the long-term physical impact of the virus, including on the heart and lungs.
  • They also hope to detail the role genetics play in the duration of the immune response to COVID-19, as well as long COVID and MIS-C.
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