BBI is announcing the launch of the Seattle Flu Study (SFS) to better understand how influenza and other contagious diseases spread and to gather information about how they might be better detected, monitored and controlled. The SFS will recruit 10,000 Seattle residents and visitors who show influenza-like symptoms in the current flu season to create a first-of-its-kind citywide network for early detection and tracking of influenza.

Volunteers who agree to participate at one of the study’s designated kiosks will be asked to provide a simple nasal swab as well as basic personal and health information to facilitate project analysis. Pathogens found in the samples will undergo genetic sequencing and be compared genetically and geographically to better understand how illnesses spread throughout the community.

The following kiosk sites are open:

  • University of Washington Hall Health Center, 4060 East Stevens Way University of Washington Campus
  • University of Washington Magnuson Health Sciences Center, 1959 NE Pacific St.
  • University of Washington Husky Union Building, 4001 E Stevens Way NE
  • UW Medicine Pioneer Square Clinic, 206 Third Ave. S
  • Martin’s De Porres Shelter, 1561 Alaskan Way S
  • Hutch Kids Child Care Center, 1210 Valley St.

 

“A century after the great flu pandemic that sickened one third of the world’s population and killed more than 50 million people, influenza remains a potent threat to global health,” said Dr. Trevor Bedford, Fred Hutch’s research and lead data scientist for the study. “The Seattle Flu Study will provide a more detailed understanding than we have today of how the flu virus spreads, allowing us to develop guidance and tools to curb or even prevent transmission.”

Dr. Helen Chu, lead clinician of the study added, “Our hope is the study will also help inform efforts by public health officials to prepare for potential pandemic threats.”

SFS is made possible by the unique cooperation between the Brotman Baty Institute’s co-founders at UW Medicine, Seattle Children’s and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

“BBI was created for projects like these that demand deeper levels of cooperation between Seattle’s major research institutions,” said Dr. Jay Shendure, Scientific Director of the Brotman Baty Institute and professor of genome sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine. “Together, we are making real strides in precision medicine research and public health.”

To find out more about the study, visit the Seattle Flu Study website or read frequently asked questions about the study.

A map of Seattle Flu Study kiosk locations is here. The kiosk sites will run through the conclusion of the current flu season, approximately at the end of April.

Media Contact

BBI@feareygroup.com, (206) 343-1543 office