Who wants the flu? Scientists in Maryland are giving people the flu on purpose. They plan to watch every stage of the flu to better know how to treat it.
Participants in this study are being offered $3000 for their time. The purpose of the study is to see how the body is able to fight off influenza throughout each stage. KSL quoted Dr. Matthew Memoli from the National Institutes of Health saying, “Vaccines are working, but we could do better.” KSL says that “For safety, Memoli chose a dose that produces mild to moderate symptoms – and accepts only volunteers who are healthy and no older than 50.” Participants of the study are closely monitored and kept isolated from other people.
Flu.gov says that seniors, young children, people who travel and live abroad, people with disabilities, people with health conditions, and pregnant women are most at risk to get the flu. Flu.gov recommends that everyone six months and older get a flu vaccination each year.
Don’t get too nervous about the flu. Flu.gov states, “If you are healthy but exposed to a person with the flu, antiviral drugs can prevent you from getting sick. The sooner you are treated with an antiviral, the more likely it will prevent the flu. Antiviral drugs are 70% to 90% effective at preventing the flu.”
Science and medicine are changing each year, but so are flu viruses. Scientists like Memoli are searching for different ways to keep people healthier. A flu virus to watch this year is H5N1, commonly known as the bird flu or avian flu. The Center for Disease Control says, “Avian flu viruses do not normally infect humans. However, sporadic human infections with avian flu viruses have occurred.” Flu.gov reported that one fatal case of H5N1 was reported in Canada, but has not spread as far as health officials know. The man had traveled to China where he contracted the virus.
Flu.gov says, “Approximately 5-20% of U.S. residents get the flu each year” and “Flu season typically starts in the fall and peaks in January or February.” Stay healthy this flu season!