The overall goal of RECOVER is to understand the COVID-19 pandemic through clinical research in order to transform patient care and public health responses. 

The team of RECOVER consists of professionals across Europe including:

Clinical researchers – conduct research on health and disease and to develop treatments
Epidemiologists – investigate patterns and causes of disease and injury
Virologists – study the growth and development of viruses
Social scientists – study human behaviour and relationships in society
Laboratory technicians – provide essential support in scientific research

Together, we are carrying out research into specific topics that revolve around COVID-19. 

These study topics include improving the knowledge of:

⦁ The illness associated with the virus;
⦁ How the virus causes the diseases and how it is transmitted from one person to another;
⦁ How the virus evolves while it spreads in Europe and how it could affect people with different illnesses and risk factors, such as the elderly and the immunocompromised;
⦁ How the virus spreads through Europe and anticipate how it would spread under different infection control scenarios, such as quarantine and isolation;
⦁ Social behaviour connected to infection, prevention and control strategies.

The results of our findings will be translated into policy recommendations to recommend public health measures that improve Europe’s response to COVID-19 and any future emerging infectious disease outbreaks.

The Origins of RECOVER

RECOVER emerges from an EU-initiative called PREPARE (Platform for European preparedness against (re)emerging epidemics) that was first set-up in 2014. In anticipation of a major infectious disease outbreak, the EC invested in PREPARE to ensure that clinical research is set in motion to study the many uncertainties of a new disease, which has the potential to threaten the health and security of European citizens.

PREPARE was first triggered into Mode 1 on 22 January 2020 following a spark of COVID-19 cases in Wuhan, China. When it was clear that cases continued to arise in other parts of the world, including Europe, RECOVER was initiated as a means to directly tackle the COVID-19 pandemic by acting as PREPARE’s Mode 3 response, the highest response Mode.


Timeline of PREPARE's modes due to COVID-19 and the initiation of RECOVER

COVID-19 Pandemic

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a respiratory disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus. SARS-CoV-2 is a novel virus from the Coronaviruses family, first identified in humans in 2019. Coronaviruses belong to a group of viruses causing a range of respiratory illnesses, such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

The virus was first detected in Wuhan, China in December 2019. In February 2020 it began spreading in Europe, causing an outbreak in Italy. Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been identified in nearly every country in the world according to the World Health Organisation.

SARS-CoV-2 is highly contagious, so it can spread quickly from person to person. It spreads through droplets from the infected person’s nose or mouth. The virus causes respiratory problems such as coughing, shortness of breath and difficulties in breathing, commonly along with fever. In more severe cases it can lead to lung infections (pneumonia), organ failure, and death.