Swab tests do not puncture the brain, as fact-checked by Lead Stories. Lead Stories is a fact-checking website that ‘is always looking for the latest false, deceptive, or inaccurate stories (or media) making rounds on the internet.’
It may be recalled that stories and claims circulated on the internet stating that a swab test pierces through the blood-brain barrier. Here is what Lead Stories have to say:
“Do PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests for coronavirus pierce the blood-brain barrier? No, that’s not true: There’s no way for a nasal swab to reach the barrier without going through bone, according to a leading public health expert who has studied the Covid-19 virus,” excerpt from an article by Lead News. Read more: Fact Check: PCR Tests For Coronavirus Do NOT Pierce The Blood-Brain Barrier.
It stands by Thomas Hartung, MD, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
“This information is wrong. The blood-brain-barrier is the barrier between the blood vessels in the brain (endothelial cells) and the brain (formed by a helper cell, i.e. astrocytes). It is a microscopic structure. No way to reach any of this from the nose – there is a mucus membrane, bones of the scull, meninges, cerebrospinal fluid etc. between,” states Thomas Hartung, MD.
Moreover, Medical Xpress confirms that swab tests do not puncture the brain.
The website cites one incident involving a woman who had a swab test and, apparently, the cotton swab had ‘punctured’ her brain. Fluid began leaking from her nose. She also developed a headache and started vomiting. To add, the fluid was identified as cerebrospinal fluid, found in the protective lining around the brain and spine.
Here is what Medical Xpress has to say.
“The 40-year-old woman had a pre-existing defect in the base of her skull (the bone at the top of the nose) and a sac of brain tissue had protruded out into the nasal cavity. This is a rare condition that we see in neurosurgery and in ear, nose and throat clinics,” excerpt from the article. Read more: No, you cannot pierce your brain with a swab test.
It adds: “The newspaper reports are based on a case study published in a respected medical journal, JAMA Otolaryngol Head & Neck Surgery. It tells of a woman in Iowa, U.S., who was asked to self-swab for COVID before undergoing a hernia operation.”