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You could get paid more than $2,000 to catch the flu for a new study

Trial being conducted at multiple locations
Posted at 5:32 PM, Nov 04, 2019

CINCINNATI — Calling in sick could pay for once.

A new clinical trial is looking for healthy adults to be deliberately infected with influenza under carefully controlled conditions.

Researchers will assess how pre-existing flu antibodies impact the “timing, magnitude and duration” of the volunteer’s flu symptoms, according to a release from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The first dose of “challenge virus” was already given to five volunteers last month. Now, up to 80 people ages 18-49 will be selected for the trial.

These participants will be given a strain of seasonal flu virus via nasal spray at one of four Vaccine Treatment Evaluation Units at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Duke University, the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Saint Louis University’s Center for Vaccine Development.

Then, participants will stay as inpatients for one week while doctors perform various tests and record symptoms as the virus progresses. Fever, muscle aches, weakness and other symptoms will be recorded by staff and volunteers for 14 days total.

Researchers will follow up with volunteers 90 days after the challenge for more testing.

“NIAID investigators have been pioneers in contemporary human influenza challenge trials,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci in a news release. “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.”

The study is supported by the NIAID, which is part of the National Institutes of Health. Researchers expect to complete the study in May 2020.

Participants may receive up $2,550 for their time and effort if they do the trial at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. SLU is offering up to $3,310 for volunteers and the University of Maryland is offering up to $2,565. It's unclear how much participants at Duke will be compensated but reports indicate it's at least $3,300.

Learn more about the study and how to volunteer here.

This story was originally published on WCPO.