Exciting News!

We have some exciting news to report: the CATCH study is expanding!

Now anyone that lives in the Cambridge Community is eligible to participate in all aspects of the study!

How can you participate? Well, you can:

  • Fill out a Baseline Survey (sent via email)
  • Download our smartphone app
  • Come see us and give some samples when you feel sick, and/or
  • Visit when we let you know a friend of yours is sick and has named you as a contact.


Our study will run through the end of the semester, so there is still plenty of time to help us CATCH the virus!


If you have any questions or want to participate, contact us at:

424 -GOTFLU (424-246-8358)

CATCH UGRAs, hard at work

One of the great things about the CATCH student is the extensive student involvement by our Undergraduate Research Assistants (UGRAs).  We have students working both in the clinic, gathering samples from our cases and contacts, and in the lab, processing these samples.

Clinical UGRAs greet the participants, go through the consent with them, and then get some basic information like temperature.

Then, depending on what type of visit that participant is there for, they’ll give some samples.  Clinical UGRAs can take MT swab samples, and capillary blood samples.

Samples are then brought up to the lab, where our Lab UGRAs take over.  Serum and swabs are processed and logged.

The swab samples are then analyzed to determine what, if anything, the participant is infected with.

We are so grateful for all of our UGRA assistance, and are really excited to be able to offer so many students that opportunity to participate in the CATCH project!

Congrats to our February Smartphone App Download Winners!

We are happy to award monthly prize drawings to two students during the month of February for downloading and running out smartphone app!


Do you have a cold or flu?

Stuffy nose, runny nose, tired and achy, scratchy throat, maybe a cough? Wonder what it is? If you are a first year student in the College Park Scholars STS, LS, or GPH programs (or a roommate of someone who is), you could find out — contact us. We can test you to see what you have, and you could join the study and be compensated for your effort.

CATCHing up with Maggie Fox from NBC News…

Another great write up about the study, this one from NBC News, Health:

Sneeze machine study takes a deep dive into how flu spreads

Work from CATCH researchers on TWiV!

This Week in Virology (more affectionately known as TWiV), had a recent episode reviewing the current flu season and discussed our recently published work in PNAS concerning flu in exhaled breath!

CATCH the Virus Study NBC Evening News with Lester Holt

The NBC team with Dr. John Torres is just packing up and leaving campus now. Watch us on the Evening News with Lester Holt soon. (We will post an update when we know which night it will broadcast.)

CATCH was featured on Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien!

The Centers for Disease Control now report that a total of 63 children have died from the flu this season and this is the highest rate of flu-like illnesses since the 2009 swine flu pandemic. Part of the reason is the prominence of the H3N2 virus, a particularly deadly influenza virus, and the low efficacy …

Source: Dr. Fauci: A Universal Flu Vaccine is Possible – Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien

Announcing our first bi-monthly smartphone app download winner of 2018!

An important part of the research study involves students who are eligible downloading and running our smartphone app.  Each time the app sends a data point, we also count that data point as an entry into a lottery.  Twice each month we’ll be randomly selecting a winner from this lottery pool to win $20 and a Giant Microbe.  Our first winner was announced this week!

Despite also coming in as a case because she wasn’t feeling well, our winner smiled for a photo op with her Influenza Giant Microbe.

Congratulations, and we hope you have enjoy your flu (but only the stuffed one!)

CATCH has hit CBS This Morning

The study was highlighted in a segment on CBS This Morning! CATCH it here!

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