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LV students would rather be broke than sick

Liz Ortiz
Staff Writer

In a recent informal survey, students at the University were asked if they would be willing to be infected with the flu for $3,000.

Thirteen out of the 20 students interviewed said they would not be willing to get sick for the money.

During the flu season, people do everything in their power to avoid getting sick, but now the National Institutes of Health is offering participants $3,000 if they enroll in a study in which they will be infected with a flu virus.

“No amount of money is worth risking my health over,” sophomore business major Anais Hidalgo said.

“So many things could go wrong. There’s always a possibility that you have an extremely bad reaction, which could be fatal.”

Students said that the health risks are too extreme and the sum of pay is not large enough for such a risky endeavor.

“My health is too important to me and $3,000 is not worth the risk of potentially damaging my body,” sophomore business major Chris Gonzalez said.

The germs will be sprayed up the volunteers’ nostrils, which will give them a mild to moderate case of the flu.

The participants then must spend time in quarantine, where scientists will be able to monitor them.

According to the National Institutes of Health, this study will let scientists observe how the body reacts at each stage of inflection from the first exposure to the most violent sneeze.

Scientists currently do not fully comprehend how the flu vaccine works, and why some people contract the flu and others do not.

They hope that through this study they will be able to better understand different strands of the virus and how to create stronger vaccines.

On the contrary, there were a few students who were all too eager to become a part of the study.

“I’d be okay with catching the flu for $3,000,” senior business major Walter Harper said.

“That would be $3,000 I didn’t have before, and besides, the flu would only be temporary.”

The students who said that they would be willing to contract the flu focused more on the money aspect than on health concerns.

They all agreed that $3,000 was a generous sum, and they would not mind being under the weather for a few days in return for it.

“As long as my health and well-being are not at risk, I would be willing to get paid to have the flu,” junior psychology major Ashlee Meyer said.

“I feel that it is pretty safe to participate in a study like this though, because it is being conducted by a major government agency.”

The National Institutes of Health hopes to infect at least 100 adults under 50 years old this year and study them to hopefully discover stronger and more preventative flu vaccines.

The National Institutes of Health is still seeking participants.

For more information visit www.niaid.nih.gov/Volunteer/flu/Pages/VICstudy.aspx.

Liz Ortiz can be reached at elizabeth.ortiz@laverne.edu.

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