Government scientists paying $3K to infect volunteers with the flu

Offiicals say it will help improve vaccines

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BETHESDA, Md. - Short on cash? Don't mind being sick? Well, there is good news. Government scientists are infecting dozens of volunteers with the flu and compensating them $3,000 for their time and suffering.

According to the Associated Press, 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 purpose of the study, according to scientists, is to improve the flu vaccines.

"Vaccines are working, but we could do better," said Dr. Matthew Memoli of the National Institutes of Health.

The reason scientists want to study patients who have been infected in house, is because patients can be studied from the time they receive the virus until they are cured, as opposed to someone who was infected elsewhere and comes in to get treatment, days into the sickness.

Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.