According to news reports, travelers to some Chinese cities had to take the COVID-19 anal swab test. This is a measure that has triggered protests from other countries.
This week, Japanese officials complained that some Japanese who arrived in China had been tested “causing great psychological distress.” According to the BBC..
And in February, some US diplomats complained from the US State Department that they needed to take the exam. Sub-report..
A State Department spokesperson said, “The State Department never agreed to this type of test and protested directly to the Foreign Ministry when it learned that some staff were subject to this type of test.” (Chinese officials have denied that US diplomats have been asked to undergo an anal examination, the adjutant reported.)
It is unknown how many international travelers were needed to have an anal test, but Beijing and Shanghai are reported to have needed a test for some arrivals. New York Times..
Some Chinese doctors say that the new coronavirus can be detected in the faeces for longer than the nose and throat, so it is a silent carrier of the virus (asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic but soon). It is said that a test will be done to catch the person who recovers.
“Some asymptomatic patients or patients with mild symptoms recover quickly [from COVID-19], And throat tests may not be effective for these people, “said Li Tongzeng, a Chinese infectious disease doctor. Told to CNN..
“Researchers have shown that for some infected individuals, the duration of positive nucleic acid results lasted longer in their excrement and anal swab tests. [samples] Than the one in the upper respiratory tract. Therefore, adding an anal swab test can improve the positive detection rate of infected individuals, “he said, referring to the so-called PCR diagnostic test for the virus.
Some Chinese citizens are also required to undergo an anal COIVD-19 test. In January, more than 1,000 students and teachers in a Beijing school district underwent an anal swab test and a nasal swab test for COVID-19 after a 9-year-old student in the school district tested positive. According to the deputy.. Others staying at the quarantine hotel were asked to take the test. One told Vice that he was asked to undergo an anal examination in September 2020 while at a quarantine hotel after returning from Australia. He said the test was done by a nurse and “he felt he had diarrhea,” Vice reported.
The test is controversial among experts, even in China. Yang Zhanqiu, deputy director of the Department of Pathogen Biology at Wuhan University, told a state-owned Chinese newspaper: Global Times In January, a nose and throat test was more effective than an anal test because the virus was known to spread through respiratory droplets rather than feces. If the point of the test is to prevent the infected from spreading the virus, the discussion goes on and the nose / throat test is most effective.
“In some cases, the patient’s excrement was positive for the coronavirus test, but there is no evidence to suggest that it was transmitted through the digestive system,” Yang said.
Experts outside of China have also questioned this practice, as anal tests are positive for COVID-19, but people who are not positive for nose and throat tests may be less contagious, according to the New York Times. I am.
“The value of detecting someone infected with the virus is to stop it,” Benjamin Cowling, a professor of public health at the University of Hong Kong, told The Times. “If someone was infected, but not another, then that person didn’t need to be detected.”
Originally published in Live Science.
Why is China giving travelers an anal test for COVID-19?
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