SOUTHAMPTON'S Covid sufferers are being urged to volunteer for a unique genetic research study.

Scientists involved in a ground-breaking Covid-19 genetic study are urgently calling for people across Southampton who caught the virus to volunteer to help with their research.

During the last 12 months, a team of NHS doctors and scientists from across the UK have been trying to find out why some people who had Covid became extremely ill and needed hospitalisation while others experienced fewer or no symptoms as part of the GenOMICC Covid-19 Study.

The group have been analysing blood donated by volunteers from both groups of people to see if their genes played a role.

The unique study is especially important in light of new research that highlighted the disparities in symptoms across different demographics.

To date, nearly 8,000 people who tested positive with Covid but did not need to go to hospital have volunteered to take part.

The preliminary results of the study have already identified possible new treatments to fight the virus, which are in clinical trials.

However, with the study due to close next month, the scientists urgently need to recruit more people and are appealing to those who had the virus from across Southampton and the wider region but did not require hospital treatment to sign up.

“We only have another month to reach our goal of 15,000 volunteers who have had milder Covid-19 symptoms,” said Dr Kenneth Baillie, the study’s Chief Investigator.

“Finding the right people to match the intensive care patients who have already volunteered is an essential step. We've already made discoveries that suggested promising new treatments for this devastating disease, and we have every reason to believe that we will find more if enough volunteers contribute.”

Professor Sir Mark Caulfield, Chief Scientist at Genomics England, added: “We’re in a race against the clock to find more suitable people to volunteer matched for age, gender and ethnicity of those people who were severely affected and needed hospital treatment.

“We particularly need more men to join the study and members of Southampton’s Asian and Black communities as these people were most severely affected by COVID.”

“If you tested positive for Covid but did not need to go to hospital, please sign up. You’ll be making a real contribution to improving the medical care and outcome for those most at risk from the virus – both now and in the future.”

Once they’ve registered online, volunteers can make an appointment for a nurse to visit their home and take a small blood sample. The research project is open to anyone who tested positive to COVID but experienced mild or no symptoms and did not require hospital treatment – volunteers can register online at