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The new COVID testing method is more accurate. But it is rather intimate.

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Snickers aside, politics is real politics – in China at least.

The Communist superpower rolls out an expanded COVID-19 testing program to include anal swabs for patients at high risk, describing it as More accurate way From an ENT test, according to a report in The Washington Post.

Regardless of the countless puns, Chinese health experts believe that Science Solid and the method must be applied to some of its vulnerable citizens.

However, the tests are not easy to administer or fun to take – for obvious reasons – compared to more traditional testing methods. Therefore, it is mainly performed Patients at high risk The Guardian reported that and those in quarantine.

Young students in Beijing It was tested for the virus using a variety of methods, including nose, throat and anus swabs, according to a report released earlier this month in the Global Times.

“I think the COVID-19 PCR enemas are being developed as a test because the viral loads in the rectum can be higher than the nasopharynx,” said Dr. David Senemo, an infectious disease expert at Rutgers College of Medicine New Jersey. E-mail. “In theory, the test should be more sensitive because it would be easier to detect the virus at a higher copy number.”

However, don’t expect to see New Jersey corona virus anal swabs anytime soon.

He said, “But the virus is also present in stool / rectal samples after it has been removed from the nasopharynx.” “This may lead to overdiagnosis for people who have recovered and only have PCR positivity [results]. Regardless, I don’t see this as a strategy conducive to real-world testing of large numbers of people as I would expect large numbers to be rejected. If that happens, it could worsen the epidemic because people will actively avoid testing and continue spreading the virus while not being diagnosed. “

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The Global Times reported that health officials in China have recently taken the enema test very seriously, citing studies that have found the virus lives longer in the lower digestive tract and in faeces than in the respiratory system.

China has implemented new testing protocols and indicated that some COVID-19 patients are still recovering in hospital who have tested negative with ENT tests but positive with anal swabs, according to the Washington Post.

In August, Chinese researchers A. Transfer In anal swab tests, it is suggested that it is “the most likely optimal specimen for detecting SARS-CoV-2 to assess hospital discharge for COVID-19 patients.”

It is unclear whether anything like this could be brought up in the United States according to the Washington Post, even the Chinese residents believe the new protocols will make patients feel very embarrassed. The report cited a survey conducted on a Chinese social media platform that found that 80% of respondents “could not accept” such a method.

Strict measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 are not new in China.

Wuhan – the city of 11 million people – has been in lockdown for months. Millions of people have been rounded up for mandatory testing, including an overnight flash test, with people being hunted in lines on the street in the dark, The Washington Post reports. Health officials sometimes closed apartment buildings to prevent people from leaving.

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Spencer Kent can be reached at skent@njadvancemedia.com.

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