Long-Term Clinical Outcomes of Sars-Cov-2 Infection And Associated Chronic Inflammatory Markers
A PROSPECTIVE COHORT STUDY IN KENYA
Why a Long Covid study?
There is emerging information on individuals who may continue to experience COVID-19 symptoms for a prolonged time or develop COVID symptoms many weeks after diagnosis or recovery commonly referred to as Long COVID. The five most common manifestations for Long Covid are fatigue, headache, attention disorder, hair loss, and dyspnea (difficult or laboured breathing). Very little is known about the burden of this problem especially in Africa and what makes some people more likely to have it.
To understand this better, the Long Covid Study plans to recruit individuals who were diagnosed with COVID-19 and recovered. The study population includes individuals from selected COVID-testing centres in Nairobi who then report to the clinic every three months for a year i.e. (0, 3, 6, 9, 12 months). The individuals describe to the team any new symptoms that have emerged and assessments including spirometry (lung function) and blood tests, are done, to identify the underlying cause.
The study targets to recruit approximately 336 study participants divided into two groups: group one will be people who were not sick or with mild symptoms at the time of testing (asymptomatic), group two will be those who reported moderate to severe symptoms at testing and including those with other underlying diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol levels.
The results from this work will be important for developing guidelines for follow up and treatment of people who continue to experience these symptoms. Lessons learnt in following them will be important for doing similar work in other parts of Kenya and other African countries. This work will build a collaboration with other scientists from Europe who are doing similar work and enable the comparison of patients from various parts of the world
Collaborators: African Population & Health Research Centre (APHRC), Kenyatta University Teaching Referral and Research Hospital (KUTRRH), Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), World Health Organisation (WHO), Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development
Study Period– January 2022- December 2022 (12 months)
Funding Institution– Stichting Joep Lange Institute of Global Health, Development, and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign affairs
Study Site: KUTRRH
Study Team: The study team comprised of multi-disciplinary team composed of clinicians, researchers, nurses among others. Among the investigators is Prof. Olive Mugenda, Chairperson Board of Directors, KUTRRH who is the study advisor and statistician.
Who can be a respondent in this study?
The target population is anyone aged 18 + years with a confirmed diagnosis of SARSCoV-2 from routinely performed PCR on nasopharyngeal swabs performed as part of the routine testing at a designated government testing centre between October 2021 and now
Generally, the public perception of research is positive. The study has recruited a total of 235 participants (70%) recruitment. 90 of these participants have been followed up for the month 3 follow up (58% follow up). A standardised questionnaire is administered at every visit to measure quality of life, psycho-social well-being, fatigue, illness perceptions, cognitive and behavioural responses to symptoms. Clinical assessments (symptoms, signs, and spirometry) at all visits and laboratory tests (lipids, glucose) will be undertaken at 0, 6 and 12 months. Blood samples will be collected at every visit for storage and future analysis.