Welcome to the Hotel Influenza...Where you can get paid $3,500 to stay at a St. Louis hotel for up to 12 days with catered meals, as long as they sign up to be exposed to the flu virus! Would you do it?
A St. Louis University research unit is testing the effectiveness of flu vaccines by paying volunteers to stay at its Salus Center, formerly the Water Tower Inn, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Participants will be given a flu shot or a placebo, and then receive a dose of a flu virus through nasal spray.
The volunteers will then be observed for flu symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, sneezing or coughing. The Extended Stay Research Unit will repeatedly test participants' blood and mucus for signs of the virus.
The university spent about $350,000 to convert 24 hotel rooms at the Salus Center into a quarantined medical unit, equipped with reading nooks and game tables for socializing.
The "human challenge" unit is one of only a few across the world that's designed to test vaccines or treatments on people after exposing them to a disease.
The 2017-18 flu season was one of the most severe on record.