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Have COVID-19? You could help UW researchers develop new treatments

Vaccinated or not, there is still a chance of contracting COVID. Researchers at UW are testing out ways to lessen symptoms and limit the spread of infection.

SEATTLE — Those who have been recently diagnosed with COVID-19 in the Seattle area have the chance to help find a new treatment for the infection. 

The University of Washington is taking part in the ACTIV-2 Study, a nationwide effort seeking to develop more effective treatments against the coronavirus. They're asking anyone in the Seattle area who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last ten days to sign up

Although there are several effective vaccines in the United States, many are still unvaccinated, and in many other countries, vaccination supply is scarce.

“In other parts of the world where vaccines are still not readily available we still urgently need treatments,” said Rachel Bender Ignacio, a researcher with UW's ACTIV-2 study.

Treatments that are available to combat the virus most often come in the form of infusions, which can take over an hour and are expensive to administer, Ignacio said. 

"We're still looking for highly effective treatments that can keep people out of the hospital." 

The study also aims to find treatments that shorten symptoms, and potentially limit the period of time a person is infectious with the virus, allowing them to return to their normal life more quickly, Ignacio said. 

The study will be administered in a "platform style," which means researchers will be testing many treatments at once, limiting the chance a participant will receive a placebo. 

One method is an injection under the skin, which involves administering a “pure” synthetic version of a COVID antibody into the patient.

The other option involves an inhaler in which “immune-boosting molecules” are administered similarly to an asthma treatment.

Those interested in participating in the study must show proof of a positive COVID-19 test within the last ten days, and be experiencing symptoms within 24 hours of signing up. Those who are vaccinated and have been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last ten days are also encouraged to apply. Those who complete the full study will be paid $600 for their participation.

For more information visit Rise Above COVID's website or text the word ‘STUDY’ to 206-448-4545.