HEALTHBEAT: NIH docs squirt flu virus up the noses of volunteers willing to sneeze for science - InfoNews

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HEALTHBEAT: NIH docs squirt flu virus up the noses of volunteers willing to sneeze for science

In this Jan. 14, 2014, photo, Daniel Bennett, 26, of College Park, Md., has live flu virus sprayed into his nose as part of a study at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. Government researchers are deliberately giving dozens of volunteers the flu by squirting the virus straight up their noses. The rare type of experiment is part of the quest to improve flu vaccines. It turns out that how best to fend off influenza remains something of a mystery. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
January 26, 2014 - 7:19 AM

BETHESDA, Md. - Forget being sneezed on: Government scientists are deliberately giving dozens of volunteers the flu by squirting the live virus straight up their noses.

It may sound bizarre, but the rare type of research aims to show how the body fights off influenza. Scientists hope to use the research to improve flu vaccines.

Only healthy adults need apply. Doctors at the National Institutes of Health spray millions of microscopic particles of flu virus up each nostril. The dose is intended to cause mild to moderate symptoms.

Then the volunteers spend nine days quarantined inside a special isolation ward at the NIH hospital so they don't spread the germs and can be closely monitored.

The incentive is about $3,000 to compensate for their time.

News from © The Associated Press, 2014
The Associated Press

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