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Get paid $3,000 by being deliberately infected with flu

A clinical trial is looking for volunteers.

You could get paid $3,310 if you're willing to have yourself deliberately infected with the flu. Researchers want to see how pre-existing antibodies impact a patient's flu symptoms after exposure to the virus.

A clinical trial is looking for healthy adults age 18 to 49 to be infected with the virus under what the National Institutes of Health (NIH) describes as carefully controlled conditions.

Volunteers will be given a nasal spray with a strain of seasonal influenza. The virus was developed by scientists and NIH says it reliably produces mild to moderate flu in most recipients.

NIH says the virus has been given to 400 people in four previous trials and no significant safety issues or severe cases of flu occurred. There was also no reported transmission of the flu outside the clinic during the trials.

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Five volunteers have already been given the first doses for this latest trial. A total of 80 people will be enrolled.

There are strict requirements for who can take part. Pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers cannot. Women must also abstain from sex during the trial or agree to use contraception. Habitual smokers of any kind are not allowed, nor is anyone allowed to use drugs or alcohol during the trial.

If you want to take part, you may have to travel. The trial sites are at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore; Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center; Duke University in North Carolina; and Saint Louis University Center for Vaccine Development.

NIH says volunteers must remain in the clinic for at least seven full days after receiving the virus. 

"Blood samples and nasal and throat swabs taken before and periodically after viral challenge will be used to trace the initiation, size and duration of various immune system responses, and to detect virus shedding. The appearance and resolution of flu symptoms, such as fever and muscle aches and weakness, will be recorded daily by the volunteers and study staff for a total of 14 days after the virus challenge," NIH says.

Volunteers will be tracked for an additional 90 days after receiving the virus and will have to provide more blood and nasal wash samples during follow-up clinic visits.

Here are a couple of ways to reach out if you are interested.

Contact the University of Maryland at clintrial@som.umaryland.edu. You can also reach out to Saint Louis University at 1-866-410-6333, vaccine@slu.edu, or http://vaccine.slu.edu and refer to study IRB #30552.

Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
General influenza virus 3D image

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