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MaineHealth gets $800,000 to study long COVID

MaineHealth has been awarded an $800,000 federal grant to study long COVID-19.

The grant from the National Institutes of Health will allow the hospital system's research arm to study what causes long COVID. It is a condition that occurs when symptoms of the virus continue after a person is no longer contagious. Typical symptoms have included brain fog and loss of smell and taste.

MaineHealth will specifically look at whether the virus continues to hang out in the fat tissues of people with long COVID and stress their immune systems.

The Kaiser Family Foundation reported in January that 28% of people who had COVID had experienced long COVID symptoms. Over half of them were no longer reporting symptoms.

The study is expected to last a year.

Reporter Caitlin Andrews came to Maine Public in 2023 after nearly eight years in print journalism. She hails from New Hampshire originally.