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Case study: Research Nurse proud to be part of COVID-19 fightback

Read about Julie's work on the Virus Watch study below.

A CRN South London Research Nurse has spoken about her pride in aiding the national fightback against COVID-19.

Julie Fuller is working on the NIHR-supported Virus Watch study, which is investigating the extent of the spread of coronavirus within communities and how social distancing affects the risk of infection.

The Research Nurse, who works at Wallington Family Practice in Sutton, takes blood samples and administers antibody tests to volunteers who are chosen to see if they have had COVID-19. Julie said:

“I am very proud to be playing my part in helping researchers to bring COVID-19 under control. The majority of cases of coronavirus orgniate from within households and other community settings, so primary care research is really important in helping us to build a better picture of how this disease spreads and in stopping its transmission.

“The volunteers taking part in this study have all been brilliant and I’d like to personally thank them for supporting this really important research; the results from Virus Watch will help to inform government planning, public health and the wider NHS responses to COVID-19. Researchers still need to understand a lot more about this virus. The more knowledge we have about COVID-19 will help us to stop the spread of this disease and save lives.”

This study will help to answer questions such as:

  • How common is COVID-19 over time?
  • What are the full range of symptoms?
  • How easily does the virus spread within households?
  • How does coronavirus affect different age groups, ethnic groups and those with chronic illness?

Information is being collected via regular online surveys from over 40,000 people until September. A total of 10,000 volunteers in the study will receive immunity and swab tests when they have symptoms to tell if they have caught COVID-19.

CRN South London’s Research Delivery Manager for Primary Care and Community Ana Guerra said: “Results from this vital public health research study will help governments and public health agencies around the world decide on the best ways to minimise the harms of COVID-19. I’d like to thank Julie and all of our volunteers, taking part in the Virus Watch study, for their work in helping to improve our understanding of this infection and how we can fight it.”

The study is sponsored by University College London and funded by UK Research and Innovation, as well as the Department of Health and Social Care through the NIHR. You can find out more about the study online.