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COVID-19: Chinese Cities Deploy Anal Swabs To Screen For Infections

Some cities in China have deployed the means of using anal swabs as a way to detect potential covid-19 infections, just as the country steps up to ensure that there are no infected persons with the new coronavirus.

Study shows virus traces in faecal samples could remain detectable for a longer time and provide more accurate test results.

This is coming after a throat swab on a 52-year-old man in Weinan, a city in northern Shaanxi province, showed negative results but tested positive using nose and anal swabs.

The man, who was confined to a centralised facility for medical observation as a close contact of another COVID-19 patient earlier this month, was then confirmed to have the virus, an official told a news conference.

Such swabs could be useful in helping minimise the risk of a relapse after recovery, a video posted by Zhang Wenhong of Huashan Hospital in Shanghai showed.

“There may be traces of the coronavirus detected in the abdominal cavity faeces and intestine,” Zhang was quoted as saying in the report.

Last week, a Beijing city official said that anal swabs were taken from more than 1,000 teachers, staffers and students at a primary school in the city after an infection had been found there.

Nose and throat swabs and serum samples were also collected for testing, the official added.

Also, while speaking on the state TV last week, a respiratory and infectious disease specialist in Beijing city, Dr Li Tongzeng, said additional tests using anal swabs can pick up infections that other tests miss, as virus traces in faecal samples or anal swabs could remain detectable for a longer time than in samples taken from the upper respiratory tract.



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