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


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The second event of note is Comac’s latest round of financing—it raised 15 billion yuan ($2.3 billion) last month in the form of a 10-year debt investment plan—combined with the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed in June by Airbus and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). The financing and MOU are intended to help bring about a fully developed, competitive domestic supply chain, the former through the injection of research and development money down the supply chain and the latter through the integration of Chinese suppliers in Airbus’s global supply network. The objective, as outlined in the “Made in China 2025” plan, is for Chinese suppliers to provide 80% of all parts by 2025.

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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.

Doing more to unleash the potential of domestic demand
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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. 地板企业需转变发展模式 应开辟新天地 Accessed Aug 3 2020.

Brueck, Hilary and Samantha Lee. “The Chinese comedy Never Say Die has brought in an impressive $326 million worldwide to date. 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. “BETTER CALL SAUL (AMC, Feb. 8) Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould’s “Breaking Bad” spinoff is probably the most anticipated new series of the winter. Starring Bob Odenkirk as the crooked lawyer Saul Goodman, the show is set before the action of “Breaking Bad,” so any appearances by Bryan Cranston or Aaron Paul would be cameos at best. But the audience favorite Jonathan Banks reprises his role as the phlegmatic enforcer Mike Ehrmantraut. USA Today. 9 July 2020.

Marty, Francisco M., et al. 楼市要降温了?下半年买房要注意这五大变化 New England Journal of Medicine. 28 May 2020.

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UCDavis Health. 混凝土行业表彰绿色生产示范企业 Accessed 3 Aug 2020.

University of Queensland, Australia. 危机即是转机 开发有市场价值的产品——专访摩马斯特总经理梁海生 Accessed Aug 3 2020.

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