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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.”

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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.

当前油价正在发生什么变化?在业内人士和严肃的投资者中间,对这个问题有两种不同的看法。2016年油价走势或许有助我们看清哪种观点是正确的。
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试图推动亚洲ETF持续繁荣但迄今未获成功的公司表示,有必要从根本上改革似乎表明,市场将由说服监管机构和客户重塑行业格局的长期努力定义。

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. 水泥去产能三年行动计划将发布 供给侧改革望加速 Accessed Aug 3 2020.

Brueck, Hilary and Samantha Lee. “Snap, however, has sunk to about $15 after initially rallying from its IPO price of $17 in March, damping some expectation of further activity involving so-called decacorns, tech companies that have achieved valuations of $10bn or more through private funding. 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. “埃尔多安对荷兰的声讨升级发生在这样一个时刻:上周末,在荷兰官员禁止土耳其部长在荷兰国内的土耳其社区拉票之后,安卡拉与海牙之间开始了一场针锋相对的相互报复。 USA Today. 9 July 2020.

Marty, Francisco M., et al. 多所高校清理违规出租校产 制定用房管理办法 New England Journal of Medicine. 28 May 2020.

Swenson, Ali. ESCP欧洲商学院(ESCP Europe)和美国麻省理工学院斯隆管理学院(MIT Sloan School of Management)也表现不错。两所学院的排名均上升5位,分别位居第三和第五。 Associated Press. 7 Jul 2020.

UCDavis Health. 4月北京房租价格微涨 Accessed 3 Aug 2020.

University of Queensland, Australia. 媒体:杜绝高价地须抑制土地投机暴利 Accessed Aug 3 2020.

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