Beijing government has recently used anal swabs for COVID-19 test instead of nasal and throat serum as they used to.

Last week, a school boy in Beijing, China, was tested positive for coronavirus. Recently, his whole school have to undergo a test for COVID-19 that include serum antibody tests, nasal, throat, and also anal swabs.

According to doctor Li Tongzeng, a deputy director in charge of infectious disease at Beijing You’an Hospital, coronavirus actually lives in the anus longer than the upper part of the body. Therefore, taking anal swabs can detect a more accurate result than serums of the upper parts of the body. Infected patient can silently carry on the virus without noticing the fact that they are positive for COVID-19 as the virus only exist in the throats and noses for only 3-5 days before enhancing to other parts of the body.

Taking anal swabs can increase accuracy for some certain group of patients. But Li noted that this testing measurement is inconvenient, suggesting that anal swabs will only be applied for some groups at the quarantine centers.

Anal swabs is used for COVID-19 test.
Anal swabs is used for COVID-19 test.

However, not all medical experts agree with the new testing method.

Yang Zhanqiu, a deputy director of the pathogen biology department at Wuhan University, argued that this virus usually transmit through upper respiratory tract rather than digestive system. Yang recommended that using throat and nasal swabs are still the most efficient way.

There have been cases concerning the coronavirus testing positive in a patient’s excrement, but no evidence has suggested it had been transmitted through one’s digestive system.

Yang Zhanqiu, a deputy director of the pathogen biology department at Wuhan University.

From the beginning of last year until now, COVID-19 has caused death of more than 2 million people. Over 100 million people have been infected to the virus and more than 55 million are recovering from it.


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