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NIH Clinical Research Trials and You

Seeking Volunteers for this Flu Season

A doctor with a pleasant smile looks at the reading on a thermometer. Her hand is on the patient's shoulder.

Each year in the United States, seasonal influenza kills up to 36,000 people and hospitalizes 200,000 more. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) conducts and supports research to find new ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat influenza.

One such program is the NIAID Influenza Research Collaboration (NIRC), a consortium of researchers that conducts clinical trials at research sites around the world to find new drugs and therapies for seasonal and pandemic strains of influenza virus. Four clinical trials are currently underway at sites in Argentina, Mexico, Thailand, and the United States.

Why do we need to find new ways to treat flu? Many flu viruses are developing resistance to current therapies. New drugs and drug combinations would offer more treatment options for flu, particularly for those who are at high risk of getting seriously ill, such as pregnant women, children, and the elderly.

“We have a variety of studies open for enrollment,” said John Beigel, M.D., one of the co-chairmen of the NIRC studies. “Treatment is likely to be more effective if given in the early phase of their infection; therefore, if possible, we want to see volunteers before they start treatment.”

Read more about the NIAID Influenza Research Collaboration and its current studies External Web Site Policy.

Content and image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.

This page last reviewed on October 15, 2012

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