Australian researchers have received a multi-million dollar grant to study the long-term effects of COVID-19 and potential links between the virus and unborn babies.
Announcement of the 2.3 million Australian dollar (about 1.8 million U.S. dollars) grant was made by the state government of Victoria on Thursday.
The funds will help scientists at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) investigate causes leading to long-term COVID-19 issues such as fatigue, cognitive difficulties and breathing problems.
Researchers also hope to gain greater insight into the potential transfer of the coronavirus to unborn babies, as well as the effects of the virus on a placenta.
The research will build on the MCRI’s study into how the virus effects organs including the lungs, heart, kidneys, brain, immune system and blood vessels.
MCRI’s Professor Melissa Little said the research team had already identified issues with the virus disrupting the heart muscle’s oxygen supply.
It is the first time research of this kind has been done in Australia, with the institute being one of the few facilities worldwide able to study the effect of the virus on every major human organ.