Volunteers offered £3,500 to be infected with coronavirus in race to find vaccine

10 March 2020, 07:26 | Updated: 17 March 2020, 16:43

Scientists are looking for a coronavirus vaccine
Scientists are looking for a coronavirus vaccine. Picture: Getty Images

People are being offered £100 a day to be infected with coronavirus as the death toll reaches five in the UK.

As coronavirus continues to spread, a laboratory is now offering people £3,500 to be infected with a form of the disease.

The Queen Mary BioEnterprises Innovation Centre will reportedly be infecting up to 24 people at a time with two common coronavirus strains in a bid to find a vaccine.

The Daily Mail has reported that the volunteers will be infected with two common strains of the virus known as 0C43 and 229E which are believed to cause very mild respiratory symptoms.

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It’s hope that if these milder cases can be combated, the vaccine - developed by Hvivo - will also work on more severe strains of the virus.

Scientists testing for coronavirus
Scientists testing for coronavirus. Picture: Getty Images

According to The Times, volunteers will have to take two weeks off work and have no contact with the rest of the world.

They can also expect to have their diet restricted while nurses and doctors - wearing protective clothing and ventilators - take nasal swabs, do blood tests and collect any dirty tissues infected with the virus.

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Hvivo is one of more than 20 firms attempting to beat the deadly virus with 35 other vaccines are in development.

Researchers in Seattle recently called for volunteers to participate in a clinical trial for a vaccine developed by the biotechnology company Moderna Therapeutics.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the trial will launch by the end of April and will take 14 months.

Meanwhile, The UK government has also promised an extra £46million in the fight against coronavirus as the number of people affected in the country has risen to 319.

This comes after it was confirmed two more people have died after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK, bringing the total number deaths to five.

Health officials have said one of the patients passed away at St Helier Hospital in the London borough Sutton, and had a number of significant and long-term health conditions.

Another was in their 70s being treated in Wolverhampton and had underlying health conditions.

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