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A controversial experiment

Researchers from various scientific institutions in the UK published a preprint (a paper not yet peer-reviewed) in February on the results of a controversial experiment: the deliberate exposure of healthy, unvaccinated people to the novel coronavirus. The experiment involved applying low concentrations of the virus into the noses of 34 young adults in early 2021. The individuals were then closely monitored by a team of doctors and scientists, led by Christopher Chiu, an immunologist from Imperial College London. Each participant received £4,500 in remuneration. The objective was to analyze how the pathogen affected people in good health. Half of the volunteers were not infected by the procedure and of those that were, some did not experience any symptoms. The virus quickly replicated in the bodies of the infected participants, who showed their first symptoms within two days of exposure, on average (Research Square, February 1). According to the authors, the results suggest that this type of trial, known as a human challenge, is safe. Other scientists questioned whether the findings justify the risks.