What causes the long COVID-19? Chicago researchers are determined to find out – NBC Chicago

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have received $22 million from the federal government to better understand the “long COVID-19” phenomenon, and patient recruitment for the study has begun.

Area resident John Kazik was one of the first 100 people to sign up.

“Part of it is, you know, being a good guy and open to letting people learn from my experience. The other part is being very selfish, trying to figure out what happened to me,” Kazik said.

Kazik still suffers from major back and joint pain and occasional insomnia, nearly 19 months after having COVID-19.

“Until I was 51, I didn’t have these problems. Now I do and it all started when I had COVID,” Kazik said.

His diagnosis came in July 2020.

“I was the guy who would run marathons, then once I had that I was barely able to climb stairs,” Kazik said.

A father of seven, the 53-year-old from Vernon Hills has many symptoms of what is now called the long COVID-19, when persistent or new symptoms linger months after the initial illness.

“The chronic fatigue, the insomnia, the post-exercise sickness, and it just, it lingered, and it just wouldn’t go away,” Kazik said.

Kazik went to several doctors to try to get help.

“Everyone says, you know, John, we have no idea. We don’t know what it is. We don’t know why this is happening to you and not other people and we really don’t know how to treat it,” Kazik said.

When he heard about the research study at UIC called “ILLInet RECOVER”, he signed up. UIC is one of more than 300 institutions participating in a billion-dollar study through the National Institutes of Health to better understand the long COVID-19.

“There is a commitment that has been made to solve this mystery and to do it collaboratively and quickly,” said Dr Jerry Krishnan, professor of medicine and public health at UIC.

The study currently has 100 people enrolled right now, and the goal is to have 1,000 people enrolled by the end of the year.

A UIC outreach team partnered with community organizations like Bright Star Church in Bronzeville to ensure diverse representation.

“It’s a proactive and community-engaged approach to research. This is research done differently,” Dr. Krishnan said.

Participants will complete a health survey, undergo periodic blood tests and other lab tests for up to four years after their infection with covid. It is a scientific approach to what Dr. Krishnan calls “the most complex problem we have ever faced”.

Anyone interested in participating in extensive COVID-19 research can contact [email protected] or visit illinet.org for more information.

UI Health’s Post-COVID Clinic provides multidisciplinary services and care coordination support to patients experiencing the long-term effects of COVID-19. Anyone in need of care can contact 866-600-2273 for an appointment with a primary care provider at UI Health.

Comments are closed.