Why are Anal Swab COVID-19 Tests a Thing in China?

By Barnaby Lofton, January 28, 2021

0 0

With regional outbreaks of COVID-19 cases in the lead up to Spring Festival, China health authorities are taking new prevention measures to make sure no potential carriers are missed. 

On Wednesday, a Weinan city official in Shaanxi province said a 52-year-old man, who originally showed a negative result after a throat swab, ended up testing positive using nose and anal swabs. The man showed symptoms such as coughing and appetite loss.

Anal swabs appear to be a last resort for health officials to rule out coronavirus carriers. The process involves inserting a cotton swab 3 to 5 centimeters into the anus and gently rotating it, Reuters reports.

According to Li Tongzeng, a deputy director in charge of infectious disease at Beijing You’an Hospital, studies revealed that COVID-19 survives longer in the anus or feces compared to the upper body tracts, Global Times reports. Li acknowledged that this method of testing is inconvenient (and possibly uncomfortable, we might add) compared to throat swabs, and will only be used for key groups undergoing quarantine.

The study, published by researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), noted the stool tests may be more effective than respiratory tests in identifying COVID-19 infections in children due to a higher viral load in their stool than adults. 

Earlier this month, a nine-year-old primary school student tested positive for COVID-19 in Beijing. The school conducted a variety of tests, including serum antibody tests, nasal, throat and anal swabs for all staff and students.

[Cover image via NIAID-RML]

more news

Lorraine Lee on Sexual Trauma & Mental Health Awareness

Inward Living founder's 2021 Awareness Campaign runs throughout October.

Will China's New COVID-19 Vaccine Work Against the Delta Strain?

Experts predict the vaccine candidate, SCB-2019 (CpG 1018/Alum), could be the most effective vaccine developed in China.

Beijing Community Locked Down After Suspected COVID-19 Cases?

On Wednesday, September 15, it was reported that suspected COVID cases were found in a Beijing residential community.

Latest COVID-19 Outbreak Not Expected to Derail Holiday Travel

The outbreak is unlikely to hinder the general tourism market.

China Reports Zero New Local COVID-19 Cases Over the Weekend

China has also cleared all COVID-19 high-risk areas.

Over 2 Billion COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Administered in China

China's vaccine program accounts for 40% of the global COVID-19 shot total.

China Reports 2 New Local COVID-19 Cases on Friday

One in Shanghai and one in Jiangsu.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at thatsonline for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in China With thatsmags.com

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday


Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Magazines!

Visit the archives