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


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James is proof of a trend we've seen, from Tim Duncan to Manu Ginobili to Vince Carter. Conditioning, health science and nutrition are paving the way for athletes to remain in their prime, and then serviceable, for way longer than before. James is realistically still going to be the best player on his team when he's 36, and that's straight up bonkers.
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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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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. 2017年地产新语:行业变局与多元化图谱 Accessed Aug 3 2020.

Brueck, Hilary and Samantha Lee. “还有几种汽车品牌名称也跻身榜单前50,包括ferrari(法拉利)和mercedes(梅赛德斯)等等。 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. “预测人士期望2014年能够成为经济实现突破的一年。但经济能否最终摆脱低迷的增长,还要取决于几个因素出现与此轮复苏刚开始时不一样的表现。以下是其中的几个关键因素: USA Today. 9 July 2020.

Marty, Francisco M., et al. 西部县城曝楼市隐患:人口24万小县库存670万平 New England Journal of Medicine. 28 May 2020.

Swenson, Ali. 《在巴基斯坦的争斗中,玛丽亚姆·谢里夫正处在权力的边缘,也或许是监狱》(In Pakistani Fray, Maryam Sharif Is on the Edge of Power, or Prison) Associated Press. 7 Jul 2020.

UCDavis Health. 推进高质量发展 天津河西区新开工五个重点项目 Accessed 3 Aug 2020.

University of Queensland, Australia. 转型方可新生——电商时代门窗品牌全渠道发展如何实现? Accessed Aug 3 2020.

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