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Wanna get the flu — and be paid for it? SLU wants you

Wanna get the flu — and be paid for it? SLU wants you

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In the name of science, St. Louis University is recruiting people who want to be deliberately infected with the influenza virus.

And if that's not tempting enough, people recruited for this study will be paid well: up to $3,310 for their time and participation.

This is part of a clinical trial supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The participants will get a nasal spray containing a strain of seasonal influenza virus. They will be quarantined for at least 10 days.

Blood samples and nasal and throat swabs will be taken; researchers will monitor immune system responses and record symptoms such as fever, muscle aches and weakness.

2018 story in the Post-Dispatch about the "Hotel Influenza" explains it in depth.

This "challenge virus" InfluenzaA/Bethesda/MM2/H1N1, was developed by NIAID scientists and "reliably produces mild to moderate influenza disease in most recipients," according to SLU.

St. Louis University is looking for healthy adults who are between the ages of 18 and 49. For information, call 314-977-6333 or go to

Five volunteers were given the first doses of the challenge virus this week. SLU hopes to enroll up to 80 people in the trial.

The challenge virus has been administered to about 400 people in four previous studies conducted at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. SLU says no significant safety issues or severe or complicated cases of influenza have occurred, and the virus wasn't spread outside the clinic during the earlier trials, SLU said.

Additional information about the trial, H1N1v Virus Challenge Study in Healthy Subjects, is available at using the identifier NCT04044352.

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