A clinical trial is now in place for volunteers who would like to make money by being exposed to influenza. The National Institute of Health is paying $3000 to those who qualify. The volunteers must be in good health at the time of the trial. Those chosen will be infected with the flu virus. The trial is being conducted in order to improve and create an efficient and effective way of fighting the the flu.
Dr. Matthew Memoli is leading the study. He is from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). His plan is to infect 100 people or more with the influenza virus. The trial will last through the year.
The trials will focus on the participants’ reaction to the virus from the point of impact. A spray of the virus will enter the body through the nose. The subjects will then be watched for symptoms that occur or do not occur in the next few days. This can help to determine how different subjects and their immune defense systems react to the virus. It gives the doctor a chance to observe every step that is taken from the onset of the influenza.
Each volunteer will be quarantined for nine days during the trial. An isolation area has been established at the NIH hospital. Every subject will be monitored closely. Precautions are put into place to avoid the spread of the influenza. Volunteers will under no circumstances be released until it is proven that they are free of the flu virus.
The lure of making money for being exposed to the flu has definitely brought in test subjects. Safety in the ward at the hospital is in place. The subjects are watched over 24 hours a day the entire time they are there. They are given questionnaires and receive various tests to check their hearts, lungs and other body functions.
Dr. Memoli has said that the even though there are vaccines that work at the moment, improvement overall would only be in the best interest of the public. The vaccines are still a good idea to avoid getting the flu according to Dr. Memoli. However people over the age of 65 are more likely to still get the flu even with the vaccination.
According to the doctor, this study will be one way to learn how the vaccine, the virus and the body react together. The study is being done in people that are over 18-years-old and under 50-years-old. Tests are conducted to insure that they are in good health. The trial is a way to learn what is preventing those over the age of 65 from responding to vaccines and treatments. It will provide answers to questions on how to create a vaccine that works well for people over 65-years-old.
Three strains of the flu will be tested. These include the H1N1, H3N2 and the influenza B. The tests have shown that within one or two days before the onset of the flu symptoms, the subjects are highly contagious. Sniffles and some congestion are two of the signs that are noticeable.
There are some test subjects who had been exposed to the influenza virus and had no symptoms at all. Even though they were making money for being exposed to the flu virus, they never got the flu. These subjects remained healthy the entire course of the test. Dr. Memoli has said that learning what is protecting these volunteers from becoming ill will be helpful in creating new vaccines in the future.
By Saki Kahala