It is estimated that 10% of patients experience prolonged illness after COVID-19. Several reports indicate that COVID-19 is not just an acute respiratory disease but may cause long-term disease or discomfort by affecting organ systems. Especially worrying is that COVID-19 seems to cause persistent symptoms even in patients with milder forms of the illness. The range of symptoms are broad including neurological, cardiopulmonary, and immunological. Typical symptoms include persistent fatigue, neurological difficulties breathlessness, loss of smell and taste, joint and chest pain, metabolic disruption (such as poor control of diabetes), thromboembolic conditions, and depression and mental health conditions.
At present there is limited knowledge regarding the number of patients having long term symptoms, and how to best treat these patients.
The purpose of the programme will be to support collaborative projects that investigate the nature, incidence, distribution of long-term symptoms, and their underlying pathogenesis in COVID-19 patients as well as to develop and test treatments for long-term COVID-19 illness. The current thematic call is aimed to fund projects that:
- Investigate the nature, incidence, distribution and duration of long-term symptoms, and their underlying pathogenesis in COVID-19 patients.
- Development and test treatments for long-term COVID-19 illness.
It is important that the applicant documents access to an adequate patient group for the completion of the study. In order to obtain a sufficient number of patients Nordic/international collaboration is encouraged.