Jake Eberts, 26.
Jake Eberts, 26.

Man Swallows Diarrhea-Inducing Bacteria-Filled Drink As Part Of Paid Clinical Trial

A man drank a beverage that included bacteria that’s typically found in infected poop as part of science research.

A shigella-related infection is a condition that affects your digestive system, according to the Cleveland Clinic. The bacteria can cause bloody diarrhea, stomach pain and fever. The Shigella infection is extremely contagious and can be passed on to people through contaminated food, water or poorly washed hands. In some cases, a Shigella infection is called bacillary dysentery, which means diarrhea that contains blood or mucus.

As part of an 11-day inpatient trial to test the effectiveness of a Shigella vaccine, 16 healthy young adults drank a mixed drink that contained Shigella bacteria. One of the participants was 26-year-old Jake Eberts, who referred to the trial as the “worst eight hours” of his life. Why’d he do it? To help those who may be struggling with the condition. He was paid $7,000 for his participation.

“I don’t want to make myself out to be Mother Teresa here — would not have done this for free. It’s a big ask to ask someone to get dysentery,” Eberts told Insider after he finished the trial, The New York Post reports. “The entire time, I was like, ‘Wow, this is an awful disease.’ And I just got really emotional, probably also because I was just delirious, about the thought of small children in the developing world dealing with this.”

After drinking a shot glass worth of the life-threatening poopy drink, Ebert documented his experience. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Shigella kills 600,000 people around the globe yearly.

Ebert told Insider that his Shigella symptoms started about 40 hours after drinking the pooperita. He started to have chills, cramps, and he eventually developed a 103-degree fever along with bloody stool and diarrhea, The New York Post reports.

“I truly felt like I could not move,” Eberts said. “Every movement in the bathroom, to get up to wash my hands or to grab a paper towel, I would lie back down on the ground and just sit there for five minutes.”
Eberts says he participated to help others who may be struggling with the disease.

“3 reasons: 1, to help the less fortunate and advance modern medicine (read: to be smarmy and self-righteous); 2, I get paid enough money to basically cover rent for the rest of the year; 3, I get paid even if I don’t get dysentery,” said Eberts on Twitter.


Jake Eberts, 26.
Jake Eberts, 26.

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