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Analysis for the Long Term

The US National Institutes of Health is investing more than $1 billion to study the long-term effects of COVID-19, Nature News reports.

A portion of people who have had COVID-19 have reported lingering symptoms such as lasting fatigue and shortness of breath as well as concentration problems and depression, which the NIH has termed post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection, or PASC, as Nature News notes. With its NIH PASC Initiative, the agency aims to learn more about these symptoms and how to prevent or treat them, as agency director Francis Collins writes on his blog page.

According to Nature News, one of the projects the initiative will tackle is a recovery-tracking program to follow patients to see whether or not they develop long COVID, while another project will build a repository of biospecimens from PASC patients — including blood, urine, feces, and cerebrospinal fluid — that researchers will be able to use in future studies.