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Children's Hospital Los Angeles Awarded $8.3 Million Grant To Study Long COVID In Children, Young Adults

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Children's Hospital Los Angeles has been awarded an $8.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study long COVID in children and young adults.

CHLA is one of more than 30 institutions that will conduct a national study called RECOVER, or Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery, in an effort to "understand the mystery surrounding the aftereffects of COVID-19 infection."

Long COVID refers to the persistence of symptoms in people who have recovered from a SARS-CoV-2 infection. Those symptoms include fatigue, cough, chest tightness, breathlessness, palpitations, myalgia, and difficulty focusing.

Earlier waves of pandemic didn't appear to impact children in general as seriously as it did seniors and people with pre-existing conditions, but this recent wave of infections fueled by the Omicron variant has seen more children hospitalized with serious illness. Because most of the information known about long COVID is based on the experience of adult patients, researchers are focusing on the condition in children.

"We estimate that 5 to 15% of youth infected with SARS-CoV-2 develop long COVID," Dr. David Warburton, CHLA's principal investigator, said in a statement. "Given the population of Los Angeles, that is a lot of young people who will be affected."

CHLA is one of the few hospitals in California with a program dedicated to long COVID recovery care in children and young adults. The study funded by the NIH will work to determine risk factors, underlying causes, the most effective way to treat the the condition, its progression, and how to prevent it.

The grant will also allow researchers to study two other post-COVID conditions – Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, or MIS-C, and COVID vaccine-associated myocarditis. Nationally, a total of 800 people with MIS-C and 200 more with COVID vaccine-associated myocarditis will be enrolled in the study.

"Although MIS-C is rare, the consequences can be devastating," Dr. Sindhu Mohandas, an infectious disease expert at CHLA and a co-principal investigator on the study, said in a statement. CHLA has treated half of all children diagnosed with MIS-C in Los Angeles.

For more information about CHLA's study, visit

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