Got the flu? If you live in Europe, you could be part of a new real-time clinical trial that scientists hope will help them be better prepared for future pandemics.
Reuters is reporting that flu patients in Europe are being asked to, "enroll in a randomized clinical trial in which they will either be given a drug, which may or may not work, or standard advice to take bed rest and paracetamol."
With incidents like Ebola, a new killer strain of the bird flu in China and the deadly MERS virus in Saudi Arabia, scientists are in a race against time – that they don't have.
The problem, Reuters explains, is "vital studies to analyze transmission routes and test experimental drugs or vaccines have simply not been done during epidemics, disease experts say."
Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust global health foundation and an expert on infectious diseases, broke down the issue.
"Research in all of the epidemics we have faced over the past decade has been woeful," he told Reuters. "The world is at risk because there are huge gaps in our knowledge base.