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March is Long COVID Awareness Month, marking four years since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. But while much of society has moved on from masking, quarantining, and isolating, there are many who are managing health problems long after having COVID-19. 

Study coordinators Jonathan Oakes and Hannah Thaxton

Researchers at the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases are participating in the NIH Phase 2 Recover-Vital trial to understand the long-term health effects of COVID and study possible treatments for people living with Long COVID. This national trial recently reached an enrollment milestone of 300 participants; however, more individuals are needed to reach the goal of 900 participants. The Institute’s Clinical Trials Unit is seeking new enrollments from communities in North Carolina.

“Ongoing symptoms of COVID can present everyday challenges to the millions of people who have Long COVID and their loved ones,” explained David Wohl, MD, co-principal investigator of the Clinical Trials Unit. “The RECOVER research trial is exploring possible treatments for symptoms described as autonomic dysfunction, cognitive dysfunction, exercise intolerance and fatigue, sleep disturbances and viral persistence.”

A high priority of the study is to encourage participation of people from many different backgrounds. UNC has a track record for enrolling diverse participants, and this was the NIH’s key criterion for selecting trial sites.

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Although the clinical trials are studying different study interventions, or possible treatments, participants in all of the clinical trials will be asked the same set of questions about their general health and well-being. Participants may be asked to provide blood, stool (poop), or nasal swab samples for the RECOVER Research Biorepository, a secure storage place for samples that could help researchers make important discoveries about Long COVID and possible therapies. Collecting and comparing information across the clinical trials will help explain how and why Long COVID affects people differently.

Refer a Participant

Any provider who would like to refer a participant should contact study coordinator Jonathan Oakes (email or call 919-966-6712) or Hannah Thaxton (email or call 919-843-3482).

Learn about the Trial

Participants can also sign up to learn more, and receive the latest information here

About the Global Clinical Trials Unit

The UNC Global Clinical Trials Unit (CTU), also known as the Global HIV Prevention and Treatment Clinical Trials Unit, operates through the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases. Established in 1987 and continuously funded ever since, the CTU facilitates high-quality clinical research dedicated to HIV prevention and therapy research. When the pandemic began in 2020, the CTU’s built-in infrastructure for research excellence and UNC’s reputation attracted the Moderna and Novavax trials, and it continues to bring leading trials to Chapel Hill.