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University Offers $3,500 To Get Sick And Stay At 'Hotel Influenza'

ST. LOUIS, MO (CBS Local) - Looking to take 10 days off from work and get paid for it? St. Louis University is willing to fund your vacation under one condition: you have get sick and agree to stay at "Hotel Influenza."

The university has converted a 24-room hotel into a research center that's looking to intentionally expose their "guests" to the flu. The SLU team is hoping the hotel will help them test new vaccines for the illness.

"Human challenge studies are a way to get a lot of information quicker, with a smaller number of volunteers and less cost than a traditional vaccine study," Dr. Daniel Hoft said in a university release.

To make the challenge more enticing, SLU is giving volunteers $3,500 in exchange for their time and travel to "Hotel Influenza." The university adds that the 24 guests will be cared for around the clock by a team of nurses and have access to TV, Internet, and their own private bathrooms.

"Common areas with comfy chairs offer spaces to socialize, read or watch TV with picture-window views of the (Gateway) Arch," according to the release.

Each guest will reportedly be given a flu shot or a placebo before their stay begins. They will then be infected with a dose of flu virus delivered through a nasal spray. SLU says they hope to begin their first pilot program at "Hotel Influenza" by the end of 2018.

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