Should This Covid Swab Go So Far Up Your Nostril?

One Canadian mentioned it felt like a painful poke to his mind. An American heard crunching sounds in her head. A Frenchwoman suffered a extreme nosebleed. Others bought complications, cried or had been left in shock.

They had been all examined for Covid-19 with deep nasal swabs. Whereas many individuals haven’t any complaints about their expertise, for some, the swab check — an important software within the world battle in opposition to the coronavirus — engenders visceral dislike, extreme squirming or buckled knees.

“It felt like somebody was going proper into the reset button of my mind to modify one thing over,” Paul Chin, a music producer and DJ in Toronto, mentioned of his nasal swab check. “There’s actually nothing prefer it.”

“Oh, my goodness,” he continued, “the swab simply going farther again into my nostril than I’d ever imagined or would have guessed — it’s such an extended and sharp and pointy type of factor.”

The swab traverses a dark passage that leads to the nasal cavity. That is enclosed by bone covered in soft, sensitive tissue. At the back of this cavity — more or less in line with your earlobe — is your nasopharynx, where the back of your nose meets the top of your throat. It is one of the places where the coronavirus actively replicates, and it is where you are likely to get a good sample of the virus.

But walking out of a clinic in Seoul this month, some people were sneezing, rubbing their eyes or blowing their noses. One or two were crying.

“It felt like the swab was scraping my brain,” said Chu Yumi, 19.

Kim Kai, 28, who had bloodshot eyes, said, “I think my nose is about to bleed.”

Lee Eunju and Lee Jumi, both 16, said they never wanted to get nasal swabs again. Eunju said it felt as if chili powder had been dumped down her nostrils. Jumi said, “It hurt so much.”

Dr. Lee says the discomfort is a trade-off for accuracy. “This does not mean we can ignore the pain that each patient feels,” he said.

Many people tolerate the test just fine. Dr. Paul Das, a family physician at St. Michael’s Hospital in the Unity Health Toronto network, said children tended to have a tougher time.

Some people chalk up their experiences to testers’ technique or personalities.

“It stings, it’s a little uncomfortable, but I think the person was very gentle,” said Kim Soon Ok, 65, outside a Seoul clinic.

Issa Ba, a 31-year-old soccer player, recalled: “I had my Covid-19 test in Conakry, Guinea, in August before I came to Senegal. I felt a little pain when they put the stick in my nose, but it was not that bad. And I have endured much more intense pain. I am a man.”

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