Imagine a stick of cotton wool being pushed up your anus to collect some faecal remains. “Eeewww! Disgusting! Very uncomfortable!" You say. But that’s the newest method of collecting samples for Covid-19 testing adopted by some Chinese cities.

According to study, this method gives a more accurate result as virus traces could remain detectable in faecal samples for a longer time. This is China’s way of making sure that the spread of the virus is curbed ahead of its Lunar New Year which comes up sometime in February as tens of millions of Chinese will be travelling across the country to be with their families.

To get a sample, a cotton swab is inserted about 3-5cm (1.2 – 2.0 inches) up the anus and gently rotated before removal. This swab could prove really useful in reducing the risk of a relapse after recovery as the actual viral load can be detected. Another benefit of anal swab is that other infections which the regular tests miss can be detected as well.

Already more than a thousand anal swabs have be collected from teachers, staffers and students from a primary school in one of Beijing’s cities.

And from a research carried out at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) last year, stool test is more effective in detecting the virus in children and infants than the respiratory tests. This is because their stools have a higher viral load than adults.

Despite its being the best method of detecting the virus, the Chinese couldn’t help but catch some cruise with it on Weibo, a twitter-like social media. One user commented, “Low harm, but extreme humiliation". Another took the humour farther, “I’ve done two anal swabs, every time I did one I had to do a throat swab afterwards – I was so scared the nurse would forget to use a new swab".

OK na. I’m just imagining something weird o…like releasing a “silencer" fart while the lab scientist or whoever is trying to get a sample…mehd o?

Spread the love