As more Kenyans and people around the world get tested for the novel Coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, they’re discovering the test involves a deep nasal swab that is very uncomfortable.
It is called a nasopharyngeal swab or culture and the process involves doctors collect a sample of secretions from the uppermost part of the throat, behind the nose. The doctor gently inserts what looks like a long Q-tip as far as it can go into a person’s nose, they twirl the swab to get a good sample, then remove it and place it in a vial, which is then sent to a laboratory for testing.
This process feels like ‘being stabbed in the brain’, a patient who recorded herself undergoing the test says.
@shelfboiGot tested lol. Felt like I was being stabbed in the brain ? ##coronavirus ##smallgestures ##selfcare ##quarantine ##foryoupage ##fyp ##itscoronatime♬ I’m Yer Dad – GRLwood
while urging people to stay home Dr Jessica Peck tweeted an illustrtion of how far in the nosal cavity they put the test and confirmed it was pretty grotesque.
This is how far back we have to put the swab to test you for #COVID19.
— Jessica Peck, DNP APRN CPNP-PC (@DrPeckPNP) March 29, 2020
Doctors say at the farthest back of your nasal cavity (back into the pharynx part of the nose) and not the very front part, is where a good sample and reliable sample can be obtained.
The New England Journal of Medicine has also posted a detailed video of what the test looks and feels like: