By Matthew Roscoe • 27 January 2021 • 16:32
CREDIT: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
Bum Deal: Chinese Health Authorities Begin Anal COVID Swabs.
CHINESE health authorities have started using anal tests to detect Covid-19 infection. A measure that has generated varying reactions to a treatment considered effective but invasive.
State broadcaster CCTV reported on Saturday that sanitation workers performed anal swabs on residents of neighbourhoods with confirmed coronavirus cases in Beijing last week. The same as people who remained in quarantine facilities.
According to Li Tongzeng from Beijing You’an Hospital, to collect test samples, the swab needs to be inserted about three to five centimetres (1.2 to 2 inches) into the rectum and rotated several times, stating that the anal test method “may increase the detection rate of infected people,” since traces of the virus remain in the anus longer than in the respiratory tract.
State media reported that more than 1,000 staff and students at the infected young patient’s school also underwent a variety of nucleic acid tests including the anal swabs.
Small localised outbreaks in recent weeks have isolated several cities in northern China from the rest of the country and led to massive testing campaigns, which so far have mainly been done with throat and nose swabs.
“We found that some asymptomatic patients tend to recover quickly. It’s possible that there will be no trace of the virus in their throat after three to five days,” Li added.
“But the virus lasts longer from the samples taken from the patient’s digestive tract and excrement, compared to the ones taken from the respiratory tract.
“If we conduct anal swabs for nucleic acid testing, it would increase the detection rates of patients and lower the chance of a missed diagnosis,” the expert claimed.
Users of the popular Chinese social media platform Weibo reacted to the method with a one user humorously commenting: “I have had two anal swabs, every time I did one I had to do a throat swab afterwards. I was so scared that the nurse would forget to use a new swab.”
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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