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Wake Forest Launches NC Coronavirus Study


Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center are leading a new study of the state’s outbreak of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

The study will collect data by asking participants to enter symptom information into a database daily via email or smartphone app. Researchers will also provide participants with at-home rapid diagnostic kits to collect blood samples through finger pricks and test for coronavirus antibodies, or substances produced by the immune system to fend off the virus.


The goal is to learn more about the virus’ presence in North Carolina and to predict its future spread. 


“So, we have maps that our public health agencies can see — maps that our health systems can be looking at on a real-time basis,” said Dr. John Sanders, the study’s principal investigator and chief of infectious diseases at Wake Forest Baptist. 


The study initially had access to 1,000 blood serum test kits, though Sanders said researchers plan to distribute more as they become available. He said researchers hope to enroll at least 10,000 study participants per month. Atrium Health has joined the project and North Carolina’s General Assembly allocated $100,000 in funding.


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Claire Donnelly is WFAE's health reporter. She previously worked at NPR member station KGOU in Oklahoma and also interned at WBEZ in Chicago and WAMU in Washington, D.C. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and attended college at the University of Virginia, where she majored in Comparative Literture and Spanish. Claire is originally from Richmond, Virginia. In her free time, Claire likes listening to podcasts and trying out new recipes.
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