Individuals who have had the COVID swab take a look at say that it looks like their mind is being pierced by an outsized cotton bud. Latest lurid headlines won’t put individuals comfy. “Lady’s nostril ‘begins leaking mind and spinal fluid’ after she took a Covid swab take a look at”, mentioned the Each day Star. “Coronavirus swab take a look at went to date up a lady’s nostril it brought about her mind to leak”, was the Mirror’s headline.
However the place did this story come from – and may we give it any credence? The newspaper studies are based mostly on a case examine printed in a revered medical journal, JAMA Otolaryngol Head & Neck Surgical procedure. It tells of a lady in Iowa, USA, who was requested to self-swab for COVID earlier than present process a hernia operation. Shortly after swabbing, fluid started leaking from her nostril. She additionally developed a headache and began vomiting.
The docs on the College of Iowa hospital, the place she was handled, recognized the fluid as cerebrospinal fluid – a fluid that’s discovered within the protecting lining across the mind and backbone.
So is that this trigger for alarm?
Probably not. The 40-year-old girl had a pre-existing defect within the base of her cranium (the bone on the prime of the nostril) and a sac of mind tissue had protruded out into the nasal cavity. This can be a uncommon situation that we see in neurosurgery and in ear, nostril and throat clinics.
About one in 10,000 infants are born with a defect like this, however the fee at which it happens in adults is unknown. On this woman’s case it was most likely as a result of the strain inside her cranium across the mind was larger than regular, making a weak spot.
This can be very unlikely for any one that doesn’t have this pre-existing weak spot within the nostril to trigger any harm with a swab. Nevertheless, an excellent tip when swabbing the nostril is to do not forget that the within of the nostril travels again, in direction of the again of the top, and never up. So any swabbing of the nostril ought to contain pointing the swab in direction of the again of the top in the identical path as you’d level the swab in direction of your tonsil while you swab your mouth – which is a part of the identical take a look at.
Please don’t be afraid of getting your nostril swabbed. It could be uncomfortable, however you can’t unintentionally jab your mind. The swab take a look at is our solely method of telling who has and who hasn’t bought COVID. It’s an important public well being device to assist us convey this pandemic beneath management.