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Clinical trials for COVID-19 treatment in Orlando need volunteers

Clinical trials for COVID-19 treatment in Orlando need volunteers

ORLANDO, Fla. — Part of a new clinical trial to find an effective treatment against COVID-19 is taking place in Central Florida, and the group running it said hundreds of volunteers are needed.

The study investigators are looking for people who’ve tested positive and shown symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 10 days.

Greg Suarez knows just how bad COVID-19 can be if you catch it. 

“They were reading my chart and saying ‘We’re really lucky to have you here’ because that’s how serious I was,” he said. 

He contracted the virus in February. At first, he remembers just feeling fatigued.  Then when it got worse, his wife took him to the hospital. 

“They told her you know, ‘We’re struggling to keep him out of the ICU’,” Suarez said. 

Thankfully, Suarez recovered after being treated in the hospital for 13 days. 

“But we want to prevent patients from going into the hospital and from getting sicker,” said one of the principal investigators on the ACTIV-2 study, Dr. Debra Weinstein. 

“But treatment options are still required. So we don’t know what’s going to happen with the activity level of the virus, especially with the variants.” 

Two sites in Orlando will test the effectiveness of four different medications.  One site is at 100 W. Gore Street in Orlando, and the other is at 1707 North Mills Avenue in Orlando. 

 “So the treatments we develop here will benefit both us locally, as well as the global community,” Weinstein said. 

Suarez said he hopes eligible people will sign up so that there will be medication people can take to avoid what happened to him. 

“If we have the opportunity to, to help our people with the research for a cure, then I think that’s more important than anything else,” he said. 

To register for the trials, call or text 407-999-6017 or visit riseabovecovid.org.