FAQ

Frequently asked questions and more information about the Seattle Flu Study.

The Seattle Flu Study was a collaborative effort led by the Brotman Baty Institute for Precision Medicine (BBI), UW Medicine, The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Seattle Children’s.

Researchers from these organizations continue to drive progress and our local understanding of respiratory diseases like the flu and COVID-19.

Researchers from the Seattle Flu Study have been at the forefront of infectious disease research in the greater Seattle area since 2017. In early 2020, we were among the first to discover and identify COVID-19 in the Seattle area. In fact, our discovery of this community-based transmission was one of the first in the United States. Now, local researchers from BBI, UW Medicine, The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Seattle Children’s are studying the flu, COVID-19, and other respiratory illnesses. By learning more about how viruses are transmitted, we can detect them earlier and slow their spread across the Seattle area.

There are several studies open to different populations in Seattle and King County. If you need help identifying which study is right for you, please email us at hello@seattleflu.org.

The exact process depends on which study you qualify for, but it’s always easy and safe—and you can take part without leaving home. Once you’re in a study, you’ll typically be asked to answer simple survey questions to qualify or for as long as the study lasts (up to 8 months).

If you develop symptoms of a respiratory illness, you may be asked to take an at-home test. If you test positive for COVID-19, a researcher or public health official will contact you.

All studies currently enrolling participants can be found on the Seattleflu.org Home Page. If you think you might qualify for one of the studies, or are interested in learning more about enrollment criteria please visit the study’s page for additional details.

If you need help identifying which study is right for you, please email us at hello@seattleflu.org.

If you take part in a study and you are tested for COVID-19 you will be able to access your test results. Please note that your test results should not be treated as a replacement for medical care or for a diagnostic test from a medical provider.

No. Your privacy is extremely important to us. Only relevant study teams will have access to personal information you provide for the study.

No data directly linked to you will ever be made publicly available. If you take a test, you’ll be given a personal barcode to protect access to your results. All study information will be stored in a secure, confidential manner.

No, participating in any research study will not affect your health insurance. All information collected remains confidential, and will not be shared with your healthcare providers or insurance companies unless you choose to share that information with a provider on your own.

No, definitely not! There is no risk that participating in these studies will get you sick.

Storage and future use of samples may vary by study. Please reach out to the relevant study email or phone number provided for more information.

Thank you for asking! Here are some tips:

  • Flu: The most effective way to stop the spread of flu is for everyone 6 months of age and older to get a flu vaccination each year. Vaccines are recommended throughout flu season and into the spring; they are even more important when COVID-19 is circulating
  • COVID-19: The CDC recommends that you take these and other steps:
    • Receive a vaccination when you are eligible.
    • Wear a mask over your mouth and nose when around others.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water.

Another way you can be involved in stopping the spread of these diseases is to join local research studies, which will help researchers understand how the flu, COVID-19, and other respiratory illnesses spread in Seattle and how we can stop outbreaks sooner.