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

China Has Administered 400 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses

China's NHC reported that more than 406.9 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered.

China Stops Animal Testing on Imported Cosmetics

Does this mean we can buy Lush in China soon...

China Releases New Vaccine and Testing Regulations for Visa Applicants

Those who received Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines will also have to take nucleocapsid (N) protein tests.

Here's How Foreigners Can Book Their COVID Vaccine in Shanghai

Starting Monday, March 29, foreigners in Shanghai will be able to book an appointment for domestically-produced COVID-19 vaccines.

China Reports No New Local COVID-19 Cases Ahead of CNY Break

With new outbreaks around the country in recent weeks, the lack of a single one is cause for cautious optimism.

Africans in Guangzhou Experience Rising Xenophobia Amid COVID-19

This comes despite many claiming not to have any recent travel history or to have come into contact with known COVID-19 patients.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

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

7 Days in Beijing With thatsmags.com

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

Subscribe

Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Beijing!

Visit the archives