(CNN) – It is widely accepted that the flu and the torrent of uncomfortable symptoms that accompany it should be avoided at all costs.
MIRA: Flu and money: researchers pay to infect patients for educational purposes
But some selfless souls have signed up to get the infection, so one day, perhaps, none of us will have to endure it anymore, and they are also paid.RELATED
Scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases are infecting subjects with influenza A (the infamous H1N1 virus, which has caused pandemics) and are closely monitoring their symptoms to better understand how the virus works and how to control it.
For an attractive sum of up to $ 3,300, 80 adult participants in four research centers will receive a nasal spray with the virus and spend at least one week in a hospital for hospitalized patients until they have stopped “spreading” the virus, that is, potentially infecting other people.
While the volunteers cough, shake, sleep and tremble, the researchers hope to know how pre-existing flu antibody levels will affect the duration and severity of participants' flu symptoms.
READ: New findings in Alzheimer's research and the flu vaccine
The study now runs until May (the end of a typical flu season) in vaccine research units at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, the Saint Louis University Center for Vaccine Development in Missouri, the University from Duke in North Carolina and the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in Ohio.
The flu can be fatal.
Understanding how the flu works is vital to defeat it: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They estimate that between 36,400 and 61,200 people died of influenza in the United States between October 2018 and May 2019, and more than half a million people were hospitalized.
MIRA: Are flu vaccines important? This expert explains
The flu can become fatal when other infections are involved, when it aggravates another health condition or when there is an overwhelming immune response to the infection. It is related to serious complications, such as pneumonia, heart attack and sepsis.
Although annual flu vaccines are not infallible (scientists and doctors cannot be sure which strain will reign in each flu season) they are the best way to prevent infection and stop its spread. People infected with the flu can treat it with antiviral medications that shorten its duration and severity.