Free Tropical Vacation! (If You Try an Experimental Diarrhea Drug)

By Andrew Moseman | December 29, 2009 12:37 pm

MexicoBeachIt’s about that time of year when people return home from spending holidays with the family, only to realize they need a vacation to recover from their vacation. Well, if you’re a resident of the U.K. or Germany who’s in good health, between 18 and 64 years old, and can keep a diary for two and a half weeks, your vacation to Mexico or Guatemala could be gratis. Oh, and one more thing: You have to be a guinea pig for a potential diarrhea drug.

A U.S. vaccine manufacturer called Intercell calls it the “Trek Study.” The company says it needs 1,800 volunteers between now and May to visit these locales, where sun-seeking tourists often get diarrhea. But fear not, travelers: A smaller study Intercell did on Americans showed a 75 percent reduction in diarrhea incidence, so perhaps fewer of you will spend your Caribbean holiday in excruciating, gut-wrenching pain than you normally would.

From BBC News:

Intercell’s clinical director, Nigel Thomas, told the UK’s Independent newspaper: “We are looking for people who have already planned to go to Mexico or Guatemala and think this would add another interesting aspect.

“It is almost like going on a package holiday. They will be met by a concierge who will take them to their hotel and arrange for them to give their first blood sample within 48 hours.”

Fake leprosy, it seems, isn’t the only way to snag a medical vacation in the tropics.

Related Content:
Discoblog: Darwin May’ve Had Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome (It’s as Much Fun as It Sounds)
80beats: Oh No! No Fresh Salsa Due to Salmonella Outbreak
DISCOVER: Vital Signs: Fishy Food, on the perils of eating fish in Bora-Bora
DISCOVER: Megadeath in Mexico

Image: flickr / lightmatter

  • Mana

    This is *sick* as in disgusting – as in pharmaceutical labs.

  • Student

    If I was an student from germany or UK I would be game for that. It’s not like I could afford the vacation otherwise. But it would be contingent on actually wanting to lie around in a resort for two weeks, when in reality I would want to be mobile and travel (Diarheea doesnt help with that).


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!


Quirky, funny, and surprising science news from the edge of the known universe.

See More

Collapse bottom bar