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COVID-19 Nasal Swab Test Does Not Cause Risk of Infection


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To help control the spread of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended getting a COVID-19 test for people who show symptoms of the disease, have come into contact with someone known to have the disease, or are in vulnerable groups. 

The most common form of testing for the novel coronavirus involves the use of a nasopharyngeal, or nasal, swab. The swab reaches deep into the back of a person’s nose and mouth to collect cells and fluids from the upper respiratory system, which can then be checked with diagnostic tests for the presence of the novel coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2.

The testing procedure involves inserting a 6-inch-long swab into the cavity between the nose and mouth for 15 seconds and rotating it several times. The swabbing is repeated on the other side. The swab is then inserted into a container and sent to a lab for testing.

Dr. Shawn Nasseri, an ear, nose and throat surgeon based in Beverly Hills who has conducted many COVID-19 swab tests, told us in an email that the nasal swab “follows the floor of the nose and goes to where the nose meets the throat, or naso-pharynx.”

Asked if the swab test is safe, Nasseri said, “Absolutely. The biggest risk is discomfort. The rare person — 1 in thousands — passes out from being super sensitive or gets a mild nosebleed. It’s estimated that close to 40 million or more swabs have been performed safely in the U.S. alone.”

But in recent weeks, viral posts on Facebook falsely claim that the nasal swab test can cause serious health issues. One post says, “The stick deep into the nose causes damage to the hamato-encephalic barrier and damages endocrine glands. This test creates an entrance to the brain for every infection.”

The hamato-encephalic barrier, also known as the “blood-brain barrier,” protects the brain from toxins that could be present in the blood.

Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, a professor of epidemiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, told us in an email that the Facebook claim “is not true.”

n. 声明,陈述
Overall twenty-eight thousand bombs and other munitions were exploded over Yugoslavia a country the size of Ohio. William Cohen then secretary of defense characterized Allied Force as “the most precise application of airpower in history.” Some five hundred civilians died in the bombing a remarkably low number for such a high number of munitions expended. In its own account of the campaignNATO stresses that targets were “carefully sexted” and that “massive effort was made to minimise the impact of the air campaign on the Serb civilian population.”

Nasseri said that “it is incredibly implausible, if not impossible, to cross the skull base and blood-brain barrier with a swab unless someone uses a rigid metal instrument and is pointing the metal object 90 degrees in the wrong direction.”

Dr. Morgan Katz, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins University, told the Associated Press that the Facebook posts misunderstand what’s happening when the swab test is performed.

The rest of them, he goes over quickly:
These larger screen sizes will put additional strain on iOS 7 and developers who will need to figure out how to adapt their apps to even more configurations. These additional formats will provide some exciting opportunities for applications as well, and we can anticipate that iOS 8 will contain many features designed to accommodate multi-screen design.
Concerns about China’s economy have recently dragged down global financial markets, affecting prospects for the eurozone and many others. Such worries are one reason why the European Central Bank is expected on Thursday to unleash a new round of economic stimulus.

Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here.

Sources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 快讯丨州保姆放火案二审宣判:维持一审死刑判决 Accessed Aug 3 2020.

Brueck, Hilary and Samantha Lee. “Average age: 36 Business Insider. 15 Apr 2020. 

Dr. Shawn Nasseri.  Ear, nose and throat surgeon. Email exchange with FactCheck.org. 3 Aug 2020.

Dr. Yvonne Maldonado. Professor of epidemiology, Stanford University School of Medicine. Email exchange with FactCheck.org. 3 Aug 2020.

Fauzia, Miriam. “《日落》 USA Today. 9 July 2020.

Marty, Francisco M., et al. 家具原材料岁末“大涨” 家居企业苦不堪言 New England Journal of Medicine. 28 May 2020.

Swenson, Ali. Mr Koepke argues, however, that the role of US interest rates in provoking EM crises has not been fully understood. He presents evidence that the probability of EM crises is substantially higher during a conjunction of three conditions: during a Fed tightening cycle, when the federal funds rate is above its natural rate (the rate that leads actual output to converge to potential output), and when market participants are surprised by signals that the Fed will tighten policy faster than previously expected. Associated Press. 7 Jul 2020.

UCDavis Health. 8月北京二手房成交1.5万套 预计后市供应量加大价格平稳 Accessed 3 Aug 2020.

University of Queensland, Australia. 深圳:新购商品房3年内禁售 Accessed Aug 3 2020.

U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. “The Blood-Brain Barrier.” Accessed Aug. 4, 2020.