Saskatchewan researchers get $20M to help study and combat long COVID effects

Click to play video: 'University of Saskatchewan researchers exploring long COVID treatments'
University of Saskatchewan researchers exploring long COVID treatments
WATCH: New funding is helping researchers at the University of Saskatchewan find ways of fighting long COVID. – Mar 13, 2023

Researchers from the University of Saskatchewan along with other researchers across Canada have received $20 million of federal money from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to help study and combat long COVID effects.

The Canada-wide consortium of researchers will study the aftereffects of COVID-19 infections for the next five years. Long COVID occurs in some patients after they went through a COVID-19 infections.

Symptoms appear after about three months and can include fatigue, shortness of breath and brain fog.

Dr. Gary Groot of the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine says the money will allow for an approach from all angles.

“Teams from across Canada will be looking for the causes of long COVID, finding drugs or treatments, finding how to best care for people who have the disease and look at the impacts on society,” Groot said.

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How treatment should look like is not clear yet at this point, but Groot is confident that, once results are in, implementing new treatments should be easy.

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“Each province has their own health-care structure, so the implementation of treatments will be province-based. As soon as we get further ahead in the research, I expect implementation to go rather smooth.”

Results are expected in the first few years, but fully understanding the disease and optimizing treatments will take longer, says Groot.

“I would be surprised if we have everything figured out within the five years we got funding for. We will have some results at the end of that, but it will probably carry on long after that.”

According to measurements taken in the wastewater COVID-19 is still around and infecting people. Viral loads in the wastewater were reported at medium levels during the latest weekly update by the University of Saskatchewan’s wastewater monitoring.

The viral load rose in Prince Albert by 27.4 per cent compared to the previous week, while it dropped in Saskatoon and North Battleford by 72.4 per cent and 59.2 per cent respectively.

Click to play video: 'Three years into the COVID-19 pandemic'
Three years into the COVID-19 pandemic

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