Home News Wanted: Volunteers to be infected with the flu virus

Wanted: Volunteers to be infected with the flu virus


The U.S. government is seeking dozens of brave volunteers willing to suffer for the greater good — and a few thousand dollars.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases plans to deliberately infect as many as 80 people with the flu virus as part of a new series of trials aimed at studying how the disease progresses and finding ways to control it.

The agency said its scientists would conduct the trials on “healthy adults” between 18 and 50 years old at four different facilities in Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio. Each volunteer is expected to receive up to $3,300 as compensation, the institute told CNN.

Participants will be given a nasal sprain containing a strain of the influenza A virus, or H1N1, that was developed by the institute and “reliably produces mild to moderate influenza disease in most recipients,” according to a news release.

The volunteers will remain in a clinic for at least seven full days after they’re infected with the virus and will have several follow-up visits for about three months after the trial. Scientists will take their blood samples and nasal and throat swabs before, during and after the trial to trace how their immune systems respond.

The virus has been administered to about 400 participants in four previous trials conducted at a National Institute of Health facility in Maryland.

“No significant safety issues or severe or complicated cases of influenza occurred, and no transmission of the virus outside of the clinic was seen during the earlier trials,” officials said.

Preliminary results are expected to be released in May 2020.

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