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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

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


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Ahead of the release, economists at ANZ said they expected inflation to pick up in January owing to rising food prices, and the low commodity prices would weigh on the CPI.
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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.”

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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.

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人社部发言人李忠表示,2016年第一季度。我国的就业形势总体保持稳定。不过他补充说道,经济下滑和结构改革,使就业更困难。
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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. 民政部:集中整治违规销售超标准墓穴、天价墓、活人墓,炒买炒卖墓穴 Accessed Aug 3 2020.

Brueck, Hilary and Samantha Lee. “STONINGTON, CONN. 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. “威廉姆斯指出,据凯投宏观估计,全球经济增长率将从2016年的2.5%上升至今年的2.8%,“新兴世界的大宗商品净出口国的出口额(以美元计算)同比增长应会达到20%左右。” USA Today. 9 July 2020.

Marty, Francisco M., et al. 宜家2015年销售增长超18% 中国销售105亿 New England Journal of Medicine. 28 May 2020.

Swenson, Ali. According to the institution, only women with a net worth exceeding 8 billion yuan are eligible to be selected as one of the top 50 richest women in China. Associated Press. 7 Jul 2020.

UCDavis Health. 市长们如何拉住房价疯牛?加大供地量成市长必选项 Accessed 3 Aug 2020.

University of Queensland, Australia. 定制家具有望保持18%增速 Accessed Aug 3 2020.

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