Looking for a reason to take a sick day (or a way to make some extra cash)? Scientists are currently searching for healthy volunteers who are willing to be infected with the flu virus to see how it affects the body. Volunteers will be compensated up to $3,300.
Led by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), researchers are looking for up to 80 healthy people, between 18 to 50 years old, to infect with Influenza A, the seasonal flu virus. Volunteers will receive a nasal spray containing the virus and will spend around ten days under observation until they are no longer contagious.
Researchers have previously used the virus in four previous flu trials, and found that it creates a “mild to moderate” illness in test subjects.
The trial will take around four months, and patients will receive up to $3,300 depending on how long they stay and the number of follow-up clinic visits required.
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The trial is intended to help researchers develop vaccines that will protect people from the flu.
“These trials provide a powerful tool to study many aspects of influenza disease progression and also can help to efficiently assess new treatments and vaccine candidates,” said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of NIAID, in a press release.
Volunteers can sign up at four trial sites in Baltimore, Cincinnati, St. Louis and Durham, North Carolina.
Flu season has already started across the U.S., with several states already reporting deaths. The Centers for Disease Control say that season flu activity is currently low, but they are urging people to get their flu shots now to protect themselves and others.