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Flu study pays volunteers $3,000 to get sick

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Flu shot

(Photo: KDVR)

BETHESDA, Md. — Healthy adults are volunteering to be infected with the flu virus in exchange for cash.

Doctors at the National Institutes of Health are spraying microscopic flu particles into the nostrils of healthy adults to examine how the body fights off the illness. The volunteers then spend the next nine days at the NIH hospital in quarantine, until they are no longer contagious.

The dose should cause only mild to moderate symptoms, said scientists.

Volunteers are handsomely compensated $3,000 for getting sick.

Researchers said the goal is to use the data collected from the study to improve the flu vaccine.

While a recent Colorado Flu Report said flu activity may be leveling off in Colorado, health experts have already considered this flu season in Colorado worse than last year.

LINK: Flu season already worse this year in Colorado than last