The young researcher was left sick for days after he drank a shot of bacteria for a vaccine trial. The 26-year-old man, who was part of an 11-day inpatient vaccine trial, said that he faced stomach cramps, a fever of 103F and felt so exhausted. The man said he was infected in a challenge trial, where participants get an experimental vaccine or placebo and before being exposed to the disease they were inoculated against. Per reports, 16 people were involved in the trial. Half of the participants got the vaccine and half got a placebo.
The 26-year-old man from Washington D.C., Jake Eberts, was reportedly paid $7,000 to ingest the shigella bacteria, which is often spread by contaminated water, at Maryland University last month, the Insider reports.
Eberts said that he reportedly drank a shot of dysentery-triggering bacteria for a vaccine trial. The ‘shot’ left him rushing for the toilet, the young man said.
Two days after he drank the shot, Eberts faced stomach cramps, bl0ody diarrhea and a fever of 103F.
The medical personnel reportedly have gave him fluids and put him on antibiotics to help fight the infection.
The 26-year-old researcher was reportedly infected in a challenge trial, where participants get an experimental vaccine or placebo and before being exposed to the disease they were inoculated against, the Daily Mail reports.
Eberts reportedly received two vaccines about a month apart and was incarcerated for 11 days until the infection cleared.
The researcher believes he got the placebo, or inactive vaccine, because the sickness was so bad.
During an interview with the Insider, he reportedly said: “That was the most brutally sick I have ever been, and I wanted to die for a solid six hours. I cannot imagine how terrifying this disease is for a small child.”
According to the health officials, shigella is spread through contaminated food and water, as well as touching surfaces also touched by someone who is infected with the illness.
The 26-year-old researcher reportedly said:
“I was exhausted and felt miserable, but I didn’t feel fear. I knew this is something I signed up for, and it will pass, and I’m not going to die or anything. But even if I had been just at home and had somehow come across this, I would’ve been terrified, because it was just awful. And the deterioration was so rapid. If I did get the vaccine, that is really bad news for the vaccine.”
Since people with this bacteria can infect others, the participants were forced to stay inside and eat alone during the whole 11- to 12-day study, the New York Post reports.
Eberts shared on his social media account that he was feeling well over the first two days after being infected.
He started feeling sick on the third day. He said that he had visited the toilet 11 times that day and was also feeling extremely tired.
Eberts also said: “I went to go to the bathroom and every single part of that — getting up, walking, grabbing toilet paper — felt like a Herculean effort. I was so exhausted that I just laid down on the bathroom floor for several minutes.”
The medical personnel decided to initiate the antibiotic treatment after he started showing symptoms of infection.
According to Daily Mail, 16 people (18 to 45 years old) were involved in the trial at the University of Maryland. Dr. Chen, who is running the trial, said that half of the participants got the vaccine and half got a placebo.
Dr. Chen said that he is hoping that the vaccine will be at least 70% effective against infection with shigella.
According to the health officials, there is no vaccine available against shigella, but several candidates are in development.
Eberts told his followers why he did this: “3 reasons: 1, to help the less fortunate and advance modern medicine (read: to be smarmy and self-righteous); 2, I get paid enough money to basically cover rent for the rest of the year; 3, I get paid even if I don’t get dysentery and 4. because this is an excellent way to get attention on social media, which, as you may be aware, is of paramount importance to me. I love to be popular online.”
The 26-year-old man is reportedly ineligible for another shigella trial now that he’s been exposed to the bacteria, but he said he would consider trying another vaccine challenge.