Your country needs you – to enroll in a massive study in the UK to combat Covid-19.
Scientists want to recruit an army of labs of at least 12,000 volunteers to help them find the vital clues that will lead to life-saving strategies to prevent and treat mortals coronavirus.
Anyone over the age of 16 can participate in Covidence-UK's innovative research. All you need is Internet access, about an hour a month, and the determination to support this great British initiative.
It doesn't matter where you live, if you've ever had symptoms of Covid-19 or if you have other health problems like diabetes and heart disease – your contribution can be a crucial piece of the puzzle.
In fact, it is the elderly who already live with other health problems – and are most at risk of becoming seriously ill with Covid-19 – that may be the key to conquering the coronavirus.
Professor Adrian Martineau, a respiratory specialist at Queen Mary University in London, who leads the study, explains: “There are many big, unanswered questions about coronavirus.
“We know older people and people with certain long-standing conditions, like diabetes, heart disease and blood pressure seems to be at greater risk – but we don't know why. We know that women are less likely to die of coronavirus disease – but we don't know why. And there are reasons to believe that some nutrients can be protective – but we don't know if they really make a difference.
"This study will provide answers to these and many other questions," he says.
As its name suggests, Covidence-UK is mobilizing a formidable team of scientists from six of the UK's leading research organizations – Queen Mary University and King's College London, Edinburgh and Swansea Universities, Queen & # 39; s University Belfast and the world famous London School of Tropical Medicine.
And his experience in immunology, respiratory medicine, women's health and reproductive medicine, neuroscience, psychiatry, psychology, public health, clinical trials and health economics ensures that all aspects of the pandemic are put in the spotlight.
It is the massive scope of the study that gives you the power to find answers to the questions we are already asking and to find unexpected patterns and associations that could provide answers that we could not even imagine.
But to achieve this, the Covidence-UK team needs to recruit a massive army of data detectors.
This science by numbers will allow scientists to accumulate the volume of detailed information needed to identify which factors have a definite cause and effect in the coronavirus and which apparent associations are pure coincidence.
For example, several Chinese studies suggest that smokers are less likely to die from Covid-19 than non-smokers – an extraordinary discovery, given everything we know about the dangers of smoking.
However, there is another, much simpler explanation for this apparent link. On average, smokers die 10 years before non-smokers; therefore, most high-risk elderly patients are also non-smokers. It is also possible that smokers have lied about their habit.
The study will clarify why some young, apparently healthy people – like 21-year-old Chloe Middleton – died from the virus, while older, high-risk people – including 106-year-old Connie Titchen, who also survived the virus. The Spanish flu epidemic and two world wars – defied the odds and won.
The disproportionately high number of ethnic minority health workers who died suggests that some groups are at greater risk of becoming seriously ill with coronavirus disease.
However, people of black and South Asian backgrounds are also two to four times more likely to develop diabetes than white Europeans – and this can contribute to increased risk.
Dr. Sarah Finer, senior professor of diabetes at Queen Mary University, London, and a member of the Covidence-UK research team, says: “This is one of the very important questions we need to answer. Age is a risk factor for coronavirus and diabetes, but we also know that there is a greater chance of getting certain infections when you have type 2 diabetes.
“It is really important for us to know if Covid-19 is one of those infections and, if we can get a good number of people to enroll in the study, we should get useful information quickly, and be able to provide information to the doctors who care for them. for people with diabetes. "
If enough people join the Covidence-UK army, Professor Martineau says we should start seeing results within weeks. And in the coming months, the database will provide a powerful springboard for ongoing research and new studies to test strategies that can prevent and treat infection.
As the study is scheduled to last five years, it will also provide an early warning system for any long-term damage, such as reduced lung function or a peak in Parkinson's disease – as happened after the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918-19 .
The more information the researchers in Covidence-UK have, the faster they can eliminate red herring associations and identify lifestyle factors that will save lives and arm us with the necessary strategies to help lift the block. Help them help us and sign up for the study on here.