Amid runny noses and hacking coughs, a team of Northwestern medical researchers has found a silver lining.
For example, why is the
The study is part of a multiyear effort that Avila hopes will yield meaningful results after this flu season, which began about a month earlier than usual and remains at epidemic levels across the country.
His team of researchers is seeking adults younger than 60 who don't smoke and have had flulike symptoms for less than week. For Avila, that last point could be decisive: How the body responds within the first few days usually foreshadows how serious the illness will be.
The average participant comes in for a nasal sample once at the start of a six-week period and once at the end of it. Each visit takes no longer than two hours and pays $50. The lab will even cover transportation costs.
As of Tuesday morning, Avila said he had seen about a third of the ideal number of participants. "More would be better," he added.
Still, Avila said it hasn't been difficult finding participants. He doesn't need to look far: