Guests could get paid to stay at St. Louis hotel, get flu

Flu Vaccine, Photo Date: 10/22/10 / Photo credit: Photo: Daniel Paquet / CC BY 2.0 / MGN
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Guests can get paid $3,500 to stay at a St. Louis hotel for up to 12 days with catered meals, as long as they sign up to be exposed to the flu virus.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a research unit at St. Louis University is testing the effectiveness of flu vaccines by paying volunteers to stay at its Salus Center. Participants will be given a flu shot or a placebo, and then receive a dose of a flu virus through nasal spray.

The volunteers will then be observed for flu symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, sneezing or coughing.

The university spent about $350,000 to convert 24 hotel rooms into a quarantined medical unit.

The Extended Stay Research Unit expects to welcome its first guests within the next year.