Call for those who have had COVID-19 to join Derry study

Local people who have had COVID-19 are being urged to take part in groundbreaking new research being conducted locally to understand why some people react more severely than others.

Monday, 8th March 2021, 9:47 am

Ulster University scientists at the NI Centre for Stratified Medicine at C-TRIC at Altnagelvin in Derry are currently involved in a project called COVRES with a cross border partner in Trinity College Dublin.

The project intends to recruit 500 patients from the north and 500 from the south who have tested positive for Covid-19. This will include 250 people who had mild symptoms and 250 who were hospitalised to determine if the patients genetics has a key role in disease severity.

A spokesperson said: “This is a huge project which involves genomic sequencing of patients DNA to understand why some people experience mild symptoms while others react more severely. But we need more participants in this, the last week of recruitment. Are you in the Derry~Londonderry area and have had COVID-19? Ulster University researchers at C-TRIC at Altnagelvin need you this week. All welcome but we are particularly interested in those over 65 years old. We are also interested in anyone who has been hospitalised with COVID-19 regardless of age.

The C-Tric building at the Altnagelvin Hospital site.
The C-Tric building at the Altnagelvin Hospital site.

“We will ask you to provide a blood and saliva sample. All appropriate health and safety measures are in place. We ask that only those who have reached the end of their COVID-19 isolation period attend research appointments.”

Overall, approximately 80% of people who experience mild symptoms recover without any specific treatment. However, almost 20% exhibit severe disease, rapidly progressing over seven to ten days following symptom onset.

Risk factors for COVID-19 severity include age, male sex, obesity, diabetes, occupational exposure and ethnicity.

Participants can register at redcap.science.ulster.ac.uk/redcap/surveys/?s=FHHK8EHHCM or email: [email protected] and phone number 07768600793.