This week RIVM launched the Long COVID study. RIVM is asking people in the Netherlands who test positive for COVID-19 to sign up for the study via LongCOVID.rivm.nl within 7 days after their positive test result. People who do not have a recent positive test result can also take part. Over the course of an extended time period, the study aims to research how many people continue to have long-term health problems after an infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The researchers will also investigate what those health problems are and how long the symptoms persist. Examples of long-term health problems after COVID-19 include tiredness, shortness of breath and pain.
The Long COVID Study monitors participants over the course of a longer time period. RIVM will be looking at how often symptoms occur after a person tests positive for COVID-19, and which symptoms are reported. The researchers will also investigate whether it is possible to predict which people will have persistent symptoms, and which people will not. RIVM can use that data to assess the long-term health impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
How does it work?
We will ask study participants to complete a survey regularly over the course of a year, answering questions about their health, whether they have been vaccinated, and if so, when, and their use of healthcare and medicines. It is important for participants to keep completing the survey questionnaire throughout the year, even if they do not have any symptoms, or if their symptoms have already gone away. This is the only way we can research how often people have long-term health problems after COVID-19, and how their symptoms develop over time.
Who can take part?
The Long COVID Study is currently focusing on adolescents aged 16 and older and adults. Children under 16 years old will also be able to join soon. We are asking people who test positive for COVID-19 to sign up for the study within 7 days after the test result. For research purposes, it is also important for people who tested negative or were not tested for COVID-19 to participate, as control groups. Data on people who had COVID-19 and sign up later than 7 days after testing positive will be analysed separately from the other participants. This also applies to people who had COVID-19 and have already had persistent symptoms for some time when they sign up.
Want to join?
People can sign up for this study via LongCOVID.rivm.nl.