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U of R Leading In Bird Flu Study

The University of Rochester is the only place doing a trial of a bird flu vaccine.
The University of Rochester is the only place doing a trial of a bird flu vaccine.

While for many the government shutdown has delayed or stopped many medical trial, this one is the exception. The FDA and the National Institutes of Health want this vaccine study done as soon as possible. So far bird flu, or H7N9, is transmitted from diseased birds to people. The flu has not been transmitted from person to person. But the U of R's chief infectious disease researcher says it could. That is why starting now they will begin to give doses of a bird flu vaccine to some healthy people. It is a live vaccine so participants will have to stay in isolation for about 12 days. It is experimental and there could be side effects, but often those are rare. The goal is to be prepared if it ever starts to spread in the U.S.

"If that were to start to occur then these viruses would be able to be spread quite quickly just like we saw with the pandemic of H1N1 a couple years ago. For that reason we need to be prepared by having some vaccines ready to go if we start to see these cases emerging," Dr. John Treanor said.

URMC is still looking for participants. They have to be healthy and between the ages of 18 and 49. They also cannot have traveled to the southern hemisphere recently or work with birds. People will be compensated anywhere from $2,400 to nearly $4,000.

For more information on how to be a part of this study, call the University of Rochester at (585) 273-3990.
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