You could get a free 10-day hotel stay in St. Louis, catered meals, and $3,500 after the 10 days are up. All brought to you by St. Louis University. Yes there's a catch. No, it's not listening to a Florida Time-Share sales pitch. You have to intentionally contract the flu.

SLU's Center for Vaccine Research has converted what was once the Water Tower Inn into an Extended Stay Research Unit they have affectionately dubbed Hotel Influenza, featuring quarantined rooms with their own separate air ventilation systems. The meals are served in a common dining area, there's a gym for quick workouts, and common area lounges to watch TV.

This is all to entice volunteers to join in a study for a universal flu vaccine. The hope is that a universal vaccine would protect against all strains of the flu, instead of predicting which strain will hit, and tailoring a new vaccine each year. It would even protect against pandemic outbreaks.

There is an application process and you'll have to pass through some general health screenings, and sure there are probably better ways of making $3500 in 10 days, but I'm a relatively healthy young human, so it could potentially be pretty easy for me. The question then becomes is this vacation time or sick leave when putting in for paid time off with HR?

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