SASKATOON -- Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan are studying the long-term effects COVID-19 has on the body.

Scientists want to find out if people who have been exposed to the virus may be at risk for other health complications later in life — even after fully recovering from COVID-19.

Jake Pushie, a researcher with the university’s College of Medicine, said it’s important to know the potential risks now, so doctors can prepare for future treatment.

“We want to forearm ourselves with some knowledge about what else this virus is doing within our bodies that may be putting us at risk for things like stroke, heart disease,” he said.

“We may not see the repercussions for another 20 to 30 years, as people start aging and those risk factors start piling up.”

The new study will look at the virus that causes COVID-19 and its effects on tissue and blood vessels.

The research team will use animals for the study, to mimic the infection tissue effects, which can be difficult to study in people.

Researchers will use facilities at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) and the Canadian Light Source.