Anal Swabs Are Latest COVID Trend For People Who Want to Test Those Waters

Until recently, one of the worst things about the coronavirus pandemic was the COVID test itself. That nasal swab is not for wimps. Depending on who administers your test, it feels like a Q-tip tickling the inner recesses of your nostril…or a painful poke to the brain. But if you thought this form of testing was torture, China has a “hole” new protocol for you.

It’s an anal COVID swab and it’s currently being used on people in high-risk groups and those in cramped quarantine conditions. To do the test, one must either have a stool sample handy or insert a cotton swab between one and two inches in the anus, then rotate it to collect all those good mucus membranes (or whatever it’s trying to pick up; we’re obviously not doctors).

Why would you subject yourself to such an awkward procedure? Well, because it’s supposedly more effective and accurate than the nasal swab. Apparently, COVID is an ass-loving virus, and it sticks around in your poop shoot longer than it does in your respiratory system. That means fewer false negatives. It’s particularly useful for determining if someone who had COVID has recovered and can be discharged from the hospital.

The downside to this ass-backward swab test is the opposite problem: false positives after a COVID patient is no longer contagious. Because the virus takes its sweet time working its way from your schnoz to your chocolate starfish, you could theoretically test negative with a throat swab and test positive with the anal swab simultaneously.

In sum, it’s not a perfect science. And at this point, we’re less interested in getting tested for COVID than we are obsessed with getting vaccinated against the virus. If they opened up an anal vaccination station today, we’d be the first in line to drop trou. Definitely. Maybe.

Cover Photo: rubberball (Getty Images)

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